"Spiritual Evolution" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
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Her¬†grandmother said she had something to give her so she took her by the hand to her bedroom where they sat on her bed. The old woman reached into her apron pocket and pulled out a small blue velvet box. She opened it and inside was a gold chain and an object attached to it.
She held the chain between her thumb and forefinger and slowly lifted it out of the box. Dangling on the end was a crucifix.
She said, ‚ÄúThis Jesus. Grandmother gave this me when in old country. I want you have it so I give you. But I tell you secret. Is magic! When you need he speak you. You want?‚Äù
The girl said yes. So her grandmother unclasped the chain and put it around her neck.
The first time Jesus spoke was when her teacher asked her if she did her homework. She was going to say yes but suddenly Jesus said, ‚ÄúYou must not lie!‚Äù She looked at the teacher with her eyes and mouth wide open until she realized nobody else heard it. So, she said, ‚ÄúNo. Sorry, Teacher. My grandmother was over and I forgot.‚Äù Teacher was easy on her because she knew her grandmother visited a lot since her mom was very sick and needed help.
Jesus spoke to her a lot back then. He would tell her what to do in order to be good and what not to do in order not to be bad. He cried with her when her mother died and laughed with her when her dad got her a puppy. But he also got her in a lot of trouble. She heard Jesus tell her to stand up to bullies, not just for herself but for others. He told her to give money to people on the street. He said it would be good to give people things she had that they didn't. She was outspoken about things. She was often called mouthy, reckless, and a trouble-maker. But it was Jesus' fault because it was he who was telling her, ‚ÄúYou should do this. You shouldn't do that. You should speak up about this. You must challenge them on that!‚Äù and she couldn't refuse. They were buddies.
She can't really remember when because it was more like a merge than a switch‚ but it was sometime in college‚ Jesus stopped saying, ‚ÄúYou‚Äù and started saying ‚ÄúWe‚Äù. Instead of speaking into her ear Jesus spoke inside her head. ‚ÄúLet's do this. Let's not do that. We should say this. We will challenge this. We cannot let that happen. It would be right to stand up for that.‚Äù It really didn't have anything to do with church or youth group or the faith or Christianity. She didn't even read her Bible. It was just her and Jesus, encouraging her to be good and keeping her company, but getting her in trouble too. She got used to being called a radical. They were a team.
When she'd grown up, got married and had kids, she noticed her heart saying, ‚ÄúI will do this. I won't do that. I will stand up for that person. I will challenge this issue. I will give this away. I will help these people. I will speak up and advocate on behalf of this group.‚Äù No longer you. No longer we. Now just I. She could no longer tell the difference between her voice and his. Perhaps they were the same. Maybe there was no he. She did not know.
It was in the middle of the night one year when she realized there were no longer any words. Just silence. This made her sigh.
Sometimes when she was getting dressed she'd notice the necklace hanging on her bedroom mirror and she would smile remembering.
At her granddaughter's ninth birthday she told her she had something to give her so she took her by the hand to her bedroom where they sat on her bed.