Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Blond Jesus: The Holy Hitchhiker

by G. Jack Urso 

I had a friend at the Evangelical Christian college I graduated from in the 1980s we called "Blond Jesus." Not just because he had long blond hair and a beard, but also because he lived simply and sincerely and tried to practice the teachings of Christ, particularly the Sermon on the Mount. One would think that would be de rigueur at a Christian college, but I digress. The summer before our senior year he decided to hitchhike from upstate New York to Florida and back. I think he saw it as his "time in the wilderness."
On the road, Blond Jesus had only the clothes on his back and a couple changes of the garments he usually wore, t-shirts and jeans. This was the height of post-70s, mid-80s Jesus Freak couture and for Blond Jesus that meant a denim ensemble comprised of torn jeans in various states of repair and patching and a well-worn denim or leather jacket with torn-off sleeves. Of medium height, slight build, and a mellow demeanor, Blond Jesus was far from threatening, which may have helped him get rides. Regardless of his seeming vulnerability, that he returned from his travels unscathed is a miracle unto itself.
Blond Jesus, circa 1987/1988.
My friend, Blond Jesus, attended church whenever he could, or at least he tried. In his travels, he was asked to leave every church he visited because of the way he was dressed.
Let me clarify. I mean every WHITE church.
Only one church, a Black Baptist church, not only asked him to stay but also fed him at the end of services.
And that, my friends, is the sermon for the day.