An Easter Reflection by Chloe' Washington '19

Meeting Jesus at Loyola

While attending Loyola University New Orleans, I met this super awesome guy.  He was a 22-year-old senior at the time, and I was a sophomore. He was always super friendly and treated everyone with respect. He had his moments, like everyone does, where he wasn’t super happy, but the majority of the time he’d have a smile on his face. His name was Jesus, and he was born in Nazareth but moved to New Orleans, Louisiana with his family at a very young age.

Since I was two academic years under him, we never really hung out too much, but whenever we saw each other, he would smile at me. He stood at roughly 6’0, had curly brown hair, and had a light honey brown complexion. He was always a positive person, so we all just assumed that most likely he had no real pressing issues in life. Well, let me tell you about how I discovered just how similar we were. 

One day when I was walking to my dorm from class, I ran into Jesus.  I didn’t know if I should try to talk to him or not.  Well, I mustered up some courage and just did it.  I walked up and tapped him on his shoulder to get his attention.

“Hey, you’re Jesus, right?” I felt so awkward at that moment because we’ve never spoken past a “hi” and “bye.”  

He responded with his usual sweet smile saying, “Yeah, that’s me, and you’re Chloe’ right?”

Honestly, I was kind of excited that he knew my name too, but I remained calm and said, “Yep, I’m Chloe’. I didn’t think you knew my name.”

“Of course I know your name. Doesn’t everyone?”

I didn’t know if this was a joke or not, but I just ran with it and said, “I’m not all that popular.”

“Oh, you’re humble,” he replied. “I like that. So, where are you headed?”

“I’m going to my room. Class was brutal today, my teachers this semester are so tough compared to last semester.”

He responded, “I’m sorry to hear that. My teachers are tough too, especially since I’ll be graduating soon.”

I saw something change after he said that. He had a glimmer of apprehension on his face. It was kind of weird to see him without his usually smiling face, so, this hinted to me that this is probably a major concern of his. 

Even though I was only a sophomore at this time, I understood how he was feeling. College seems to fly by without warning, and then we all get haphazardly thrown into “the real world.” Now everyone is looking at you like “what now.”

I tried to make him feel better by saying, “Well, I’m sure you have plenty of options. You seem like a great guy.”

He smiled again and said, “Thanks, I needed to hear that. Sometimes it feels like I’m not making any progress. My parents have such high expectations for me, and I’m scared that I won’t meet them.”

I didn’t want to seem nosey, but at this point, I was concerned. So, I asked him, “Well, what are some options you have? Let’s start there.” Take note that at this point, he’s getting advice from a 18-year-old sophomore in college, but I digress.  

He responded, “My mom wants me to get a job doing something, as she puts it, ‘maybe computer related’ because that’s the way of the new world. I don’t want to do anything computer related as a job. That all seems so boring to me.”

“What do you like to do then?” I asked.

With the biggest smile on his face and brightest glow in his eyes, he said, “I love to build things. My dad and I used to always work together on small projects and I got hooked. Something about working with my hands and making something from scratch makes me feel accomplished. Sadly, my mom doesn’t feel the same way.”

I noticed that happiness leave his eyes again and he just looked so disappointed at the thought of being a disappointment. The worst thing in life is to feel inadequate for doing what you think is your passion. I felt for him because I’ve had something similar happen to me before.

“You know, sometimes parents don’t understand how they make us feel,” I said to try and comfort him. “I think she’ll come around eventually.”

He responded while looking at the ground, “my mom isn’t one to change her mind about things, once it’s made up. My dad is more flexible.”

“You have to follow your heart, or else you’ll be miserable,” I replied.

He thought about it and shrugged saying “I guess. I don’t know. I’ll think about it. Thanks for the advice. Sometimes I just can’t figure myself out, so, I just smile to keep going.”

I smiled and told him “you’ve got this. I mean, you’re Jesus! Nothing can stand in your way of greatness. I believe in you.”

He smiled that same sweet smile again and said, “Thanks, Chloe’. You’re pretty smart for a sophomore.” He laughed and nudged me slightly as he said that and just playfully said “whatever man” and kept walking with him.

We continued to walk and talk about school and life until we had to go our separate ways. I’m glad I ran into him that day because talking with Jesus showed me that even the brightest people could have their moments of self-doubt. Everybody has their self-doubts, and I’m happy that I could help him through one of his. Even if I didn’t help much, at least I got to be there for him as he confronted that emotion.  

I think about that moment whenever I need a ‘reality check.’  Whenever I feel as though I’m inadequate or as if I’m messing up, I just remember what I told Jesus that day, “follow your heart, or else you’ll be miserable.” 

So, thanks to Jesus, for being just as human as the rest of us. I hope he remembers that.

Chloé Washington is a Junior at Loyola University New Orleans, and she is currently studying Popular and Commercial Music as a vocalist.  She loves to write, sing, and perform music and aspires to continue this as her career.  She hopes that one day she will be able to go out, after college, and share her gift with the world, inspiring others that it is okay to be authentically yourself when it comes to pursuing your passion.

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