One night a father woke up to the sound of a violent storm raging outside and the cries of his little girl.
“Daddy I’m scared.”
“It’s ok baby,” said the father. “God has everything under control. He loves you and will protect you.”
“I know He loves me,” she whimpered. “You tell me everyday how much God loves me but right now I need to see Jesus with skin on.”
She wanted to see Jesus in the flesh.
She needed to see this Jesus we pray to.
I told this story in a bible study class one evening and then I told everybody that I have seen Jesus with skin on.
“You just have to close your eyes and look with your heart and you’ll see many forms of Jesus with skin on.”
I had no idea when I started speaking that this would come out of my mouth.
I just knew I was tired of hearing people say “Just think the first face you will ever see is the face of Jesus.”
Most of the time I would respond by asking “how do you know I haven’t seen Jesus already?”
Little did they know, I have.
I have seen Jesus with skin on in the form of a homeless woman who attended one of my small group classes because she was sure that one day things would
turn around for her and she wanted to grow in her faith so she would be ready when that time came.
I’ve seen Jesus with skin on in small children who will stop and talk to me long before their parents will ever have the courage to start a conversation
I’ve seen Jesus with skin on in the form of a husband and wife who wanted to bless me in some kind of way so they bought me a laptop.
I’ve seen Jesus with skin on in a lawyer who has offered to help me get my teeth fixed.
I’ve seen Jesus with skin on in the form of a precious girl I know from Dell City who’s kindness radiates from her even when she is silent and withdrawn.
I have seen Jesus with skin on in the acts of charity done by people all over the place.
But the first time I saw Jesus with skin on was the day I met Veronica Davis for the first time.
So today, my thankful for November 7, 2018 goes out to the little mentally disabled girl who taught me why God created mentally disabled people in the
Veronica is a huge Madill Wildcat fan. No one on the official high school cheerleading squad during the 80’s could ever disagree that although Veronica
wasn’t on the team, she out cheered, out yelled and outfanned everybody in the stands and on the field.
You could hear her rooting for the football players no matter where you sat in those football field stands.
If you have lived in Madill any length of time whatsoever you have probably seen this Jesus with skin on walking down the road, working at The Sunshine
Store or just hanging out somewhere in a convenience store parking lot talking to everybody and anybody.
And, if you make time to stop and talk to this Jesus with skin on, you’ll get a hug from Jesus and you’ll learn what unconditional love looks like in it’s
I remember the first time I met Veronica as if it was yesterday.
She came up to me and said in her slow way of talking “You amaze me how you get around so good at school when you’re blind. How do you do that?”
I didn’t really know what to say to that question.
My first thought was “Well I just do.”
But I didn’t have time to reply because she started telling me about herself and how she loved football and school and how everybody was her friend.
“If you need any help with anything you just let me know,” she said.
It didn’t take me long to realize I did need her help.
I needed her help in understanding how someone with a mental disability could impact so many hearts and lives.
How did this little black girl move so many people to just absolutely love and adore her?
What was her secret?
It was no secret.
She’s just real, all the time, anytime, all day, every day and any day.
She doesn’t pretend to be someone else; she can’t; she doesn’t have the corrupted heart that most of us do.
She isn’t mean to people. She can’t be. She doesn’t have the spiteful nature that so many of us show from time to time.
She doesn’t meet a stranger because she knows, without having to be told, we’re all in this thing together.
Her light shines through the darkest of nights because she couldn’t hide it under a bucket if she tried.
Her personality is contageous, outrageous and righteous.
She is living proof now of how it will be with everyone in heaven when we get there.
She looks just like Jesus would if Jesus was a girl.
The last time I saw Veronica was some time in late July of 2016.
Nick Beasley told me he was about to go up on the hill to see one of his friends.
I told him I wanted to go and see if I might be able to find Veronica.
We pulled up at the house where she was living and I was told that she was home but that she had dropped a pan of boiling water on her foot just the day
before and she was laying on the couch inside.
“Go on inside,” I was told. She’ll love to see you.”
As soon as I walked through the door, she jumped up and ran over to give me a hug.
She could barely walk and kind of hobbled around.
And yet she walked back outside with us and she didn’t go back into the house until we pulled out of the driveway.
I know she must have been in bad pain but she didn’t care about that because she cared about visiting with me more.
That affected me so profoundly that I was silent all the way home.
Nick asked me what was wrong and I said “Nick’ you know some people reach the lost by preaching, some people reach the lost by teaching, some people play
in church bands, some do missionary work but that girl reaches people by just being like Jesus in her everyday life.”
Jesus with skin on.
That’s Veronica Davis.
God bless you my cherished and highly valuable friend.
My life has never been the same since the day I met you way back in 1983.
PS; You don’t need eyesight to see Jesus. In fact, I think eyesight can distract us from seeing the real authentic Jesus in the real authentic people sometimes.
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