I take my daily walk to the Jefferson County Library branch in Arvada, Colorado which is just nestled northwest of Denver and is an alluring medley of the robust mountains, dainty cherry blossoms, and an oceanic sky that seems endless. I cross the same streets, observe the same sights, and on an occasion, I see a familiar face. There’s one face that sticks out the most, and I’m certain this face may become an eye sore for some, but for me, it’s a part of my daily life.
When I see this person’s face, I feel peace — a harmonized sense of silenced tranquility that one he can provide.
I don’t know his name.
You may call me weird for this, but I’ve never even said ‘hi’ to him.
From afar, I observe his flowing South Beach-colored locks that curl past his shoulders, lightly frizzed from the slight humidity in the Colorado air. I watch as he does parkour, commonly known as free running off of buildings, and natural objects, in the park — the way he moves his body as he runs and consequently, leaps off a huge oak tree with precision, confidence, and an unnatural sense of athletic agility.
I stare at his sun-stained face, his modest cornflower-hued facial hair, and his eyes that tell a story of passion, hope, all the goodness of his world is in his deep chestnut-brown eyes speckled with hints of ambiguous amber and energetic emerald. His eyes are the gateway to this world and beyond; his eyes have captured me and all that I hope I can become.
I know I must be a weirdo as I glance his way with an intent to embed my brain with his image, but he must realize someone is staring as he looks up and I quickly dodge away.
I’m such a weirdo.
I could just go up and say ‘hi, my name is Tammy. Can I offer to buy you a sandwich?”
But no, I’m living up to my ‘freak’ status and just become a stalker of this man – this homeless man of Arvada, Colorado.
Oh, I forgot to mention that little tidbit, eh?
He is homeless, he drives an old, ragged bicycle with a little trailer hitched to it filled with a sleeping bag, tarp, and other necessities. The way this Jesus of Arvada, Colorado carries himself, in my mind, is similar to how Jesus of Nazareth held himself.
The way he gently holds a copy of Crime And Punishment between his bronzed fingers, delicately turning each page as his right exposed calf flips over an arm-chair in the library, you can sense he is taking each word into his most inner core.
He doesn’t just read.
He lives what he is reading.
He doesn’t just flip the pages.
He is the pages.
It’s amazing to watch; it’s like observing something that seems untouchable, yet touchable at the same time.
Jesus of Arvada, Colorado is the oceanic sky, robust mountains, the Broncos sunsets, the uncontrolled rivers, the weary ski trails, the dew-covered tiger lilies, the autumn foliage, and the joyous delight of little children running through a sprinkler.
This man is God and God is he.
I still feel like an envious stalker having this enchanting opportunity to behold this divine creature and all of his innately awe- inspiring characteristics and I still haven’t mustered up the courage to say hi to the Jesus of Arvada, Colorado.
It’s almost as if I can’t utter that simple word; I can’t break the veil of purity and love with such simplicity; I can’t break this living version of a worthy deity with my worthless, infantile banter.
That’s really okay with me, it truly is.
Just peeking through this pine-riddled tree, I gaze intently at him breathing in the high altitude air and in that instant, it’s the most fulfilled my spirit has been in some time.
From this distance, it’s what I imagine Jesus of Nazareth would have done as he communed with nature that God so generously provided all of the inhabitants of this earth.
I may never come into close proximity with the Jesus of Arvada, Colorado, but his soul – the very essence of God and God’s beauty – is already one with me.