J Walking

It is always so much easier to talk about walking with Jesus than it is to actually lean on Jesus. At least that has been my experience. Jesus is easier to love when I don’t need him so much because that way I get to keep him at a sort of arm’s length – near enough to enjoy but not near enough to be transformed. This is one of those times when I am so tired that I just need him so badly.

The attacks – not surprising but still trying – come now from every angle and they get more personal with every media appearance. There are, however, the bright spots. E.J. Dionne in today’s Washington Post is one of them. But why is it that the impression that those kind words leave is not nearly as deep as the impression that the bad ones (“Kuo is a member of Axis of Evil”) leave?

It comes, I think, from what Jesus talked about in John 10:10 – that the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but He comes to give life and life abundantly.

So I choose life.

Well, I am glad that Jesus loves me unconditionally. For now, I am, according to a Christian writer, a member of the “Axis of Evil.” I don’t have that much time to write right now, but will have more to say in a bit but that is unexpected. And, leaving every sorrowful attempt at humor aside, so sad.

So, the smears are beginning. A call this afternoon from a DC gossip columnist who was called by a Republican finance person alleging I had done something wrong to him five years ago.

All I wanted to do was fight back – to defend myself and preserve my “reputation.” But then I made a quick decision: I called the columnist and said that I apologized and I was wrong. Do I remember the situation? Nope. Does that matter? Probably not. I am called to be reconciled to my brother and that person, whoever he is, is my brother. And so I am sorry. It felt amazingly freeing actually.

Crazy, huh? I keep being reminded that Jesus really did know what he was talking about.

A month ago, the “60 Minutes” crew came to our house and took over four full rooms with cameras, lights, monitors, microphones, and people. I talked with Lesley Stahl for almost four straight hours. We talked about virtually everything, including the night I had a massive seizure while driving my car down a winding, twisting parkway in DC, then finding out that the proximate cause for that seizure was an egg-size tumor in my brain. Were it not for that night and the surgery and recovery that followed, I wouldn’t have ever written a book.

But that experience taught me that we do not number our days. James puts it well when he says that there is arrogance in saying what we will do in the future – that we are vapors. That was the birth of Tempting Faith. It is, more than anything, a spiritual book. It is a book about my journey with Jesus through dark times – being part of an abortion, part of a divorce, hating my political “opponents.” But it is also about my journey with Jesus through his infusion of life – finding forgiveness, finding love, celebrating life.

Ultimately it is my conviction that Jesus must (must!) be first that led to the book and to my willingness to sit down with “60 Minutes” – and, worse, to have to watch myself on television tonight.

Maybe it is different for others on TV, but for me there was just the overwhelming sense that I was being forced to watch a home movie of myself – with the added bonus of knowing that it was also being seen by millions of other people.

But therein lies my little hope, too – that people who think of Jesus only in a Republican way left thinking that maybe there is more to him than that… and that those who love Jesus were reminded that putting him first is always a good thing.

Good night. Next: Good Morning America at 7:30 a.m.