This is my painting of Jesus. I painted it. I have many paintings that sit like this, in and around my apartment. There isn’t enough room on my walls to possibly hang them. I like them around, and look forward to coming to a place in my life where I will be able to paint more. This is part of my clutter I’m certain I will not be able to part with. I will have to accommodate somehow by finding proper storage for them. There are more at my mom’s house, along with a lifetime of work painted by my grandma. Where should I put them? I dream of someday housing an artist studio, where they all will have their proper places.
This particular painting tells the story about the time Jesus bought me a car.
I was fresh out of college and had just landed my first job not waiting tables. I was given the honorary title of “customer service representative” at a paper factory.
In between calls, I would take five to manifest a car, since I didn’t have one.
This would enrage the other customer service representative, who we’ll call Jessie. She would roll her eyes and tell me to go to a car lot instead of wasting my time. I would stare at my maroon Swingline stapler and announce, as if my car was already parked outside, that this was the color of my car and then I would go into it’s attributes. My “ghost” car was a Volvo station wagon, maroon, and I was willing to pay about $500 for it.
Now, can you imagine the look on Jessie’s face when a man at the paper factory announced he was selling his maroon Volvo station wagon, and he agreed to sell it to me for $500? Little did I know then that when you manifest objects of desire, or situations of desire, you must be very specific about what it is you want, and I failed to mention that I’d like the car to run well.
I was laid off from that job. Not because of the manifesting but for screwing up an order and instead of sending three rolls of paper to Saint Louis like I was supposed to, I sent three semi-trucks full of paper to South Carolina. They couldn’t afford to bring the paper back, so they had to send a sales team over to cut deals out there. I left with my box and drove off in my Volvo, which broke down soon thereafter and I again was car less.
Determined to get it right, I began to visualize a plain sedan, brand new and running strong and it would have to be free, since I had no money.
A month later, I received a call from my father, who announced that Jesus told him to buy me a car. That call was followed by another, a few weeks later. This time Dad was asking me what color I wanted my car in which I replied, “The color of rain Dad,” as I stared out at a rainy summer day. Was this really working?
A few weeks after that, Dad called again, “I just drove off the lot with your car and I’m looking at it, it’s a shiny gem of a car! When are you coming to get it?”
Dad lives in Texas and I didn’t have the means to get down there. I putzed around for a while before determining whether to retrieve the car Jesus bought for me. Why couldn’t Jesus have brought the car here? I wondered. A friend advised not to push it, and that I had better get the car before Jesus changed his mind. Dad bought me the ticket south, and would accompany me on the drive back.
Now you are thinking, “Jesus didn’t buy you that car dimwit, your Dad did.” Yes, you’re right, in some ways, but Dad had terrible credit and somehow, they let him drive off the lot with a brand new Honda Civic and a really low interest rate; that in itself is a miracle if you ask me. I worried a little about how Jesus was going to make the payments, but Dad assured me that the money would come; Jesus would make certain of it.
I went down to El Paso to get the car. While I was there, I met the channel which Jesus came through to tell my dad to get the car. He came through a very kind man, and when He did, the kind man lost his Mexican-American accent to a Hebraic one, and crowds of people would spill into his home, standing room only, incense and candles burning, lights off, curtains closed. It spooked me to the point of nausea at first, but after some time there (two weeks) it began to become as real as rain, like the color of my new Honda.
I drove home, and found work that fall. Jesus made timely car payments for about three years I think, I can’t really remember, long enough away from that time in El Paso for my faith to begin to falter, that’s for sure.
I found myself trapped within the mundane details of life we all so easily can be wrapped into, and in essence, I had lost my shine and forgotten the magic.
I remember the day I realized what had happened and the car dissolved. It broke away from underneath me, like a cloud in a windy sky, along with my belief. I was giving my boss a ride when she asked me, “I don’t mean to be rude, but how are you affording this car Anna, I mean, I know you don’t make all that much money?”
Quite simply and without hesitation, I ran into the flames of her skepticism and answered, “Jesus bought it for me.”
She laughed, a short and outrageous laugh and then, returned the question to me, “Jesus bought it for you?”
Yes boss, Jesus.
“Anna, that’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard, you can’t be serious, are you?”
But I was. I could see in her eyes she was now questioning my sanity. I felt like the last kid on the playground to figure out there was no Santa and she had bullied me into the corner and was tempering my belief with her mockery. I wanted so badly to confirm my story, to prove to her that Jesus does exist. I could tell I had already lost her and I could also tell I had lost myself. I learned in that moment that some things are better left unsaid. My faith wavered and slipped away from me. It was replaced with the irrationality of the situation. Not too long after that, a repo man came and took the car away.
Maybe it was a blessing, and I still have Jesus’ car, just one without car payments, because as the repo man was driving off with the Honda, a neighbor witnessed the situation and lead me to a car her friend was selling. She referred to it as a ‘cream puff’. One of those cars old ladies hardly drive so they end up selling it. I bought it, cash up front. Jesus wasn’t burdened with payments anymore.
The tiger lilies in the painting represent the flowers a friend bought me to soften the blow. I appreciated their smells and beauty in the days that followed the coming of the repo man and where in I learned to use my land legs again, bus pass in hand, bike lock key attached to key ring…and for some reason, it comforts me knowing that somewhere out there, Jesus drives a Honda Civic, fuel efficient, nothing fancy, basic 4 door sedan, no amenities, white like a cloud, the color of rain.