“Jesus is calling.”
I have a deep love-link to Jesus which leads to an emotional jolt every time I hear his name. I’ve had to control my reactions over the decades of teaching teens in the Latino culture, whose parents have honored their sons with biblical names, including Jesus. It helps me to give Jesus the Spanish pronunciation, ‘Hey-sus’ but over the years these blessed students respond to either pronunciation. I’ve had to get used to exhorting Jesus to do homework more consistently and occasionally given Jesus a tardy to class…all while keeping a straight face.
But last week, in the middle of a noisy classroom activity, one of the students standing close to me said, “Jesus is calling.” “Wha-what?!” I responded. Seeing my startled look, he repeated himself and I looked up to see one of my students from across the room waving to get my attention. “Oh…thank you. Better not keep Jesus waiting,” I replied and merely got a puzzled look in response; but personally I was thinking about my savior for the rest of the day.
On one level, this story is just a funny little chuckler, or a point of connection with those of us who enjoy and admire the Latino culture. However what this really reminds me of is John 11:17-44 when Jesus calls for Mary in verse 28. She is totally wrapped up in deep grief, oblivious to what’s going around her. But when her sister leans close to her ear and says, “The teacher is calling for you,” it re-orients Mary’s world.