Friday, August 26, 2016

The Visitor

At my primary job, you know the one, where I get paid to conserve, preserve and repair antique toys and trains? Yeah, that one, the one at the museum, well, we use radios to communicate to each other. I am part of the exhibits department there. Now, I am one of five exhibit personnel there and we are on a rotating schedule, meaning that at any time of any day of the week there are at least two of us present. So when something goes wrong on the floor or someone needs our services that person keys up their radio and says “Come in Exhibits.”
            This has been normal operating procedure for years. Occasionally, like when a visitor has a question about the trains or the train layout, I will get a personal call on the radio which goes something like this “Come in Skip.” This is nothing new. As a matter of fact, each person in my division gets an occasional call by their name if the floor staff knows that they are uniquely qualified to handle that particular issue or problem.
            So today, at 12:45 in the afternoon when my radio squawked “Come in Skip, Jesus is here for you.” I stopped what I was doing and looked down at the small black communication device and wondered “What the hell did I do now?” I slowly picked up the radio.
            I was sitting at my desk, typing away on accessioning records and elbow deep in research books on pre-world war II toy trains built by the American Flyer company. To say I was stunned at the radio in my hand would be an understatement. After all, how often does Jesus come visit you at your work? Well, unless you’re a member of the clergy, not often I bet.
            I keyed the microphone, “10-4, I’ll be right there.”
            What would you have said? “Tell Jesus to wait, I’m in the middle of something right now.”
            Nope, I stood up and headed towards my office door. Lots of thoughts crossed my mind as I took those 12 steps to the door, by the time I put my hand on the door knob I realized why Jesus was there to see me. I’d made an ad-hoc appointment for him to stop by earlier in the day without even thinking about it. Hell, I’d gone so far as to make sure my supervisor was cool with it. Which he was. That surprised me.
            When I got to the front, I saw an elderly man holding a small basket with Jesus in it. I smiled, introduced myself and took the basket from him and carried the baby Jesus to my office. Jesus didn’t complain, didn’t move, and didn’t do anything as a matter of fact. Simply because this was an animatronic baby Jesus that had stopped working. He is part of a nativity scene and the parish he belongs to wants him to move again.
            Over the next hour or so, through interruptions of co-workers who rarely come to my office but to see a person like me with Jesus must have laid their personal feelings aside just to see me and the Christian savior in the same room, I un-swaddled, unscrewed and removed any and all unnecessary parts of the figure. I was not mean, cruel or spiteful in my actions. Nope, I was professional and caring, after all, this particular model is over fifty years old and will break easily.
            I found the problems, repaired them, tested all the mechanisms and lubricated the moving parts as well as cleaned the new covenant up as best as I could. Then I added a better cooling system, a few support brackets, replaced his body, tested him some more, swaddled him and then put him back on test again. I left him there for the rest of the day. The little body in the basket waved his arms back and forth without stutter or jerk. I was happy and I knew others would be too.
            I looked up the number of the woman at the church who wanted him fixed and informed her of the good news. She was happy.
            Then, one of our staff members who is a minister pops into my office, I believe it was his first time ever in my office, and he wanted to have a look at what I had done and then informed me that no matter where I go, Jesus will always find me. I scoffed.
            But maybe it is true. After all, I have to say, I’ve been mired so deeply in listening to online courses on physics, astro-physics, higher mathematics, quantum mechanics and any and all science related material just to feed my lust for learning that I’ve begun to question everything. Look for proof where only faith can answer back.
            These thoughts made me sit down in my chair, lean back and stare at the ceiling while I tried to figure out not just where I stood in this world, this solar system, this galaxy, this universe, but where mankind stands as well.
            Our lives are short, almost insignificant to all that has been and will be, both personally and species wise. In that light, the greater expanse of things light, bills don’t matter, pressure doesn’t matter, and pettiness and anger don’t matter. All that matters is love and being in the moment. Creating bonds that will keep you happy until your last breath of life leaves your body.
            Of course that is easier said than done. However; whether you believe in Jesus or not, whether you think he is the savior of the world or just a prophet or even if he was just a really good and decent person, he cared about everyone and tried to make peace with everyone he came into contact with. As long as they were willing to treat him like person, he was willing to treat them with the same respect.
            And I think I can do that. Or at least try.
            I guess you could say, I had a really good visit with Jesus today, even though he did nothing but show up and let me clean his feet.

            Have a great week.