The family, while driving through a residential
neighborhood, comes to a stop at an intersection.
"Jesus! There is Jesus!" The man whose facial
features provoked the youngest son's interjection
is standing upon a nearby lawn. All look his way.
The man is a house painter, eagerly engaged in
conversation with the home's owner. The man,
wearing only sandals and shorts, has bronzed skin
from working in summer sun. A white headband
keeps his shoulder-length, brown hair out of his way.
Tall and thin, he makes a striking impression.
His face does bear a rather remarkable likeness
to depictions of Jesus, all without hesitation
agree. "That's just the way Jesus looked, I guess,"
the boy says. His older sister replies, "No way!"
"Jesus was a Jew, a native of today's Middle East.
He would have been swarthy, with coarse, black hair.
European painters of old depicted him wrong. At least
that's what my teacher says." The father adds, "There
was just something more comfortable about it that way.
"Somehow if we think of Jesus as looking more like us,
white, of European or American descent in appearance,
it makes it easier to accept and worship him. It is just
human nature, I suppose, some innate need for adherence
to our own kind. Toward Jesus, itís a shame to feel that way."