The Color of Jesus


What does your Jesus look like?

Is he white?

Pale, pale skin.
Clear of blemishes, with a translucent quality.
Pure.  Holy.

Long, blonde-brown flowing hair,
shining like the models on TV.
Soft, flowing blonde-brown beard —
straight, not curly.
White, straight teeth.

Perfect, flawless hands,
held, with feeling, over the heads of the poor children,
blessing, coming close,
but not – quite – touching –

must remain clean and white
to do the clean and white Father’s work.

When you look into Jesus’s eyes,
what do you see?
Pale blue gaze
under smooth, tidy brows –
no overgrowth here,
just clean perfection
looking out from the only example of a perfect human
to ever walk this earth.

This Jesus, he can talk compassion,
but surely he cannot live it.
There is no way a person that perfect
would be willing to get his hands dirty,
would be willing to get down in the dust and trash,
would be willing to soil his beautiful self
to save a wretch like me.


Jesus stands in front of a painting of himself —
an enormous painting,
huge, imposing, ornately framed,
attached firmly to the museum wall.

He stands, head cocked, gazing the portrait up and down.
The crowd of street urchins
who followed him into the museum
stand silently, watching him,
imitating the cock of his head,
the littlest ones clutching the hem of his tunic,
sucking their thumbs,
silent, content.
The guard looks disapprovingly at all the dirty feet.

Jesus admires the boldness of the piece,
the brush strokes,
the vibrant colors,
the dedication and skill of the artist,
the years of work and perseverance
shining through.

One of the solemn children whispers,
Who is that?

Jesus, brought out from thought,
looks down,
smiles at the little one,
his dark eyes twinkling,
extends his strong brown hand,
and off they all go,
the Savior and the saved,
heading for the park,
going off to play in the warm,
all -revealing




2 thoughts on “The Color of Jesus

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