That Time I Met Ron Howard's Brother
Celebrity. We have entire magazines devoted to following the lives of people that we would never actually want to be friends with.
I had a run in with a celebrity once. Clint Howard, as in brother of the much more famous Ron Howard (Picture Left). All I was supposed to do was let the guy into a building.
I do understand why we have the magazines. I felt that pull, that enamoring effect that makes you think twice, maybe five times, about what you wear. I hated it. I didn't sleep well. I had physically tangible anxiety over a man who was the brother of THE Ron Howard, had recieved lifetime achievment awards from MTV, and played in forty or so movies, including doing the voice of Roo in the older versions of my childhood favorite Whinnie the Poo. The encounter consumed my thoughts; I couldn't shake it. The curse was on me, only to be broken by putting the key in the lock and pushing open the glass doors for this wizard I didn't and still don't know. I took some Nyquil so I could sleep.
I know 'important' people; some of them are good friends. These people know other interesting people, and do interesting things themselves. They have their own sort of celebrity status. But then I got to know them and they lose that mystique, which is fine because I like them better that way. I like me better that way.
With both the celebrities that I do and don't know, the enamor flows out of my own insecurities. I mentioned that I had to think twice about what to wear when I met Clint, well it was on a Sunday which felt a bit more disgusting that I prioritized cleanliness for Clint over cleanliness for God. Which I now realize is more about the fact that God doesn't looking down on me for wearing a t-shirt and jeans. He already loves me in a way that doesn't compel me to posture (though I still often do). I thought twice about what I would wear for Clint because something in our culture told me he was a special and important sort of person and it was important for this man to like me, to approve of me, maybe even to think I was important myself.
So I opened the door and turned on some lights with all the self-importance I could muster. Clint made a joke about robbing the place, I told him as long as he gave me a cut of the goods. He laughed and patted me on the shoulder, then I left. Approved of, but unsatisfied.
Jesus has a bit of celebrity mystique to Him, and I'm told I'm going to get to meet Him someday. In a very real sense I have met Him already, call it an imaginary friend, but I feel relationship with Him in a way that has altered the course of my entire life. When I think about meeting Him, which on rare occasion feels very close and real to me, it's not the same as when I think about meeting Clint Howard. I don't get in knots over whether or not I should wear that zip-up sweater, or whether or not he'll notice my cheap shoes, or that I am entirely too self-conscious. No, when I think about meeting Jesus it feels like a far too long put off get together with an old friend who just so happens to also be the creator of the universe and the central point of history. There is no insecure search for approval here, just revelry in an ancient friendship.