Once in a while we read or hear something that makes us take notice in a special way. It jars us into an awakening It forces us to examine ourselves and our beliefs. Sometimes the memory sticks with us and keeps coming to the foreground in quiet moments.
A recent article from America magazine (March 28, 2016) has done just that. I have to admit to having given Jesus a Hollywood appearance. The holy cards of my youth had a big influence and I realize that I have not up-dated my image. So when Brian Doyle (p 26) describes Jesus as a “gaunt Arab Jew, speaking Aramaic and Hebrew, copper-skinned, short, slight of build, skilled only in carpentry and scholarly analysis of the Torah, . . . ” my brain skidded to a halt. I’m okay with the Arab Jew, the language and probably his skin color, but what is this gaunt, short, slight of build? I want to say “not MY Jesus.” I realized it was especially the “short” that bugged me. How could a short person command the attention of so many people, the crowds so often described? (So this is why he helped out Zacchias!)
And then I realized that I have a prejudice that has gone undetected by me all these many years. I am afraid that I have not given full credit to short people. A bit of self disclosure, I have lost six inches to scoliosis and have to buy in the petite department but this has not changed my attitude toward myself. I tend to say that others have just gotten taller. I think I still have my gifts, talents, and ”short” comings. Even our language has put a derogatory on short! So now I know I have some work to do. I need to be more open, to change my attitude. I am wondering and looking for what other prejudices are lingering within me. Say a prayer that I get straightened out.
Sr. Mary Rabe, OSB