“Ayesha” By: Andrew Scala, Fiat Ventures

Pexels User Isaac Taylor

6th Sunday of Easter

“Do I have microfiber cloths and tire shine? I think I might have to stop at Autozone. Ugh.” I was thinking this to myself as I walked out of my condo one Saturday morning, about a year ago. I tend to be hyper-focused on the tasks that I line up for myself on the few, welcomed free Saturdays on my calendar. This particular morning was no exception as I set out to tackle the activity that I find most cathartic: washing my car. As I reached for my Honda’s chrome door handle, a voice shattered the framework of my internal dialogue.

“When are you going to wash my car?” said the voice.

I looked up to see my neighbor, Ayesha, smiling at me as she was stepping away from her blue Lexus. I wondered how she knew my carefully orchestrated plans, but felt relieved that I internalized my thoughts as I noticed my bag of car washing bottles and rags at my feet.

“Ha! I’m not sure. I’m finally finding time to do mine!” I responded.

“Well, check your calendar. I’m sure a man of God such as yourself can find the time.”

Ayesha didn’t say that sarcastically. She said it seriously. And it floored me.

I looked at her car. A half-faded bumper sticker read, “As for me and my house…”, and I realized that Ayesha knew Jesus. The rest of that sentence is, “we will serve the LORD.” But, how did she know that I knew Him?

When I think about this week’s Gospel and my encounter with Ayesha, I find it funny how transparent Jesus was at times with his Disciples. For all of their disbelief, misunderstanding, and faltering actions, you’d think that Jesus must’ve spoken to them strictly in parables. In this week’s Gospel, not only is there a great example of Jesus’ transparency, but there’s also an answer to my question.

“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”

Christians are called to love others as Jesus loves us. In this passage, Jesus clearly explains that his love is freely given to those who love him. He even goes a step further to explain that he dwells in, resides in, and flows from those who love him. What a powerful promise; the kind of promise that would seemingly be hard to contain, right?

If this is true, and I’m living my call as a Christian, then it’s moments like these that serve as affirmation. Like the song goes, “They will know that we are Christians by our love, by our love.” I can only pray that it’s by my Christian love that Ayesha simply knew who had my heart.

The beauty of this week’s Gospel is that the story could end there for me. Yet, it continues:

“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”

Working through Ayesha, I had been reminded by the Holy Spirit. Reminded of the good that I am doing for His holy name, and that the Father loves me as he dwells within me. Encounters with the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, never seem to be particularly Earth shattering at the time. But, over a year later, the wisdom of the moment resonated with me for the first time.

Thank you, Ayesha.

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