The time had come. We said our goodbyes and loaded up on the back of a small pickup truck, squished in and around our luggage. The engine started up and we bounced off down the dusty streets of Soroti, Uganda.
We had no idea what was ahead of us. After a couple hours of driving, we pulled into the driveway of a cute straw/mud hut. Our driver announced we would be staying there.
Quickly, we realized that we were quite the attraction. “Muzungus” (white people) are always noticeable in Africa, but being in such a remote village, it seemed many had never seen a white person. Several of the babies were actually scared of us! But that didn’t keep the older kids from swarming us.
After hours of ministry, the sun was finally setting. But there were still 50 kids crowding our small hut. I looked behind me and saw their bright eyes blinking in our direction… just staring.
I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than a bit of alone time. And that’s when it hit me. This happened to Jesus all the time.
Swarms of people followed him everywhere he went, and he always welcomed them into his arms. He was so overwhelmed, even to the point of running away into the mountains just to get away. The disciples weren’t being jerks when they told the little children to go away… they were simply exhausted from being followed and stared at all day, every day.
“Guys, this is our chance to do what Jesus did,” I said, “to get even closer to understanding who he really was and what he actually did.”
So we huddled together, prayed, and felt we were to tell the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. So we grabbed our Bible, and began to “story,” or act out, the Bible story. It felt surreal, with my bare feet on the dirt floor and all the hungry kids looking up at me.
I bet Jesus’ feet were dirty, sweaty, calloused and tired. I bet he was often dehydrated, overheated and lacking in sleep. I bet he was tempted to be irritated with the twelve annoying guys that asked him questions constantly, or the crowds that followed him around. But somehow, through it all, he was sinless and perfect.
He was loving, compassionate, and always wanted to talk to people and heal them.
“What Would Jesus Do?” has an entirely different meaning now. I hope that every day I grow to look more and more like him.