The Jesus in Mary Jane

I turned my nose up at my weed-smoking neighbors. I described them to friends as “old hippies,” I rolled my eyes at them, and I wondered, “Do they even have jobs? What do they do all day?”

I even tried to root my feelings in my Christian faith. But Christianity has this sneaky core tenant about loving your neighbors, even the ones you don’t like. I actually believe that Jesus died for people who hated him, so I could not escape the pang in my gut that told me I was straight-up wrong in feeling so great about myself and feeling resentful toward them — I could not escape it, that is, unless I simply chose to ignore it.

That’s what I did: I ignored this gnawing expertly, just magnificently, until the day I actually met my neighbors.

I Care What Jesus Looks Like

For most of my life, I assumed Jesus was an effeminate white guy. Of course, that had something to do with the fact that every depiction I saw confirmed that: shoulder-length brown hair, blue eyes, creamy skin, clean-shaven face, slim figure. Basically, Jesus looked a lot like me.