Jesus was insane today.
When my dog, Cotton, and I crossed 55th St. walking along Woodlawn Ave., a talking man with long hair approached us, kept talking and turned to walk with us. I didn’t know this man but there was no threat in his eyes, or his body, so I made no move away.
A non-English-speaking person would have guessed we were engaged in conversation. The man’s cadence, rhythm and frequent eye contact would have given that appearance. But the words coming from his mouth were unintelligible.
It wasn’t that he was channeling that street’s famous former resident, Enrico Fermi, and spinning scientific theories that I found hard to follow. No, it was just that there wasn’t a single coherent concept or sentence in the five-minute stream of words that came my way.
He didn’t yell or gesture wildly, but delivered his mind’s contents calmly. I could not have counted the number of topics that flowed together in his pseudo-sentences. His torrent mashed up nouns and verbs that had never before appeared together in the same sentence in the English language.
I never felt that he really wanted anything from me. I’m not even sure he needed me to listen. When he turned from me to head toward the Unitarian Church, I wished him love and peace and asked him to be good to himself. Then a very true thing came from him: “Peace be with you.”
I did not participate in a liturgy of word or sacrament this morning. But I gave Jesus five human minutes as he walked along, insane, on Woodlawn Ave. today.