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On the Joy Bus So I am riding with the fifth graders from the Christian school. Today o’ today, we have peace like a river. We’ve got spirit-filled hearts. God has the whole world in His hands. Jesus sits up front, behind the driver. He looks like Jesus. Long hair, chiseled face. But he’s clean-shaven for the occasion. The boys and girls shout, goof around, punch buttons on hand-held video games. Jesus remains silent, head tipped onto a partially unrolled sleeping bag. It’s pretty obvious. He needs this retreat. Look at him. Missed most of his own childhood. The other kids in Nazareth called him smartass. Born at a bad time in a bad century. What can one do? Probably all Jesus wanted to do was take off half his clothes 236 Christianity & Literature 64(2) and run through the street waving sticks with the others. I hope we can help him. Maybe the water slide or s’mores by the campfire will appeal. I’ve warned the kids, though. Don’t go near him unless he asks. And don’t make him sing all the praise songs. Those with the most tender hearts are upset. They want to give Jesus a hug. Now. They don’t get it. Jesus has had a hard time. He might be feeling slightly used. Arms folded, hiding the scars on his hands. Even in his fatigue trying to spare us who never spared him. So just leave him be with eyes closed until we finally get there and then the Son of Man will awake and you’ll hear him tell us hello. And should he volunteer to take the top bunk, I say let him. ß Albert Haley Author biography Albert Haley is writer in residence and Professor of English at Abilene Christian University. His poems have been published in Rattle, Christian Century, Ruminate, Windhover, and other journals. Currently he is at work on a novel about suburban Christians whose lives are interrupted by signs and wonders. Poetry 237 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 236-237
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-04
Open Access
No
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