Jesus in Jeans: Joshua anointed with Perfume

Sunday 24th March

“Hey Molly, are you going to Simon’s party next week?” asked Mae.
“Simon from the Christian Union?” replied Molly “I don’t know, it’s mainly CU people there and I’ve not really hung out with those guys much after the way they treated you”
“But you’re invited right?” pressed Mae “Can you get me in?”
Molly looked shocked. “Mae, they are horrible to you! Why on earth would you want to go to a party with a bunch of transphobes?”
“Josh is going to be there!”
“That influencer you’re obsessed with?”
“Molly, he’s amazing, I just want to meet him, please”
“fine! “ condeeded Molly “on your head be it”

On the night of the party Mae was buzzing with excitement, standing in front of the mirror she puckered her lips and highlighted her cheekbones, she loved how feminine they looked now. Reaching into her drawer she pulled out her bottle of Yves Saint Laurent, a treat to herself as she recovered from top surgery. She gave herself a light mist, popped the bottle in her handbag and headed out of the door, nervous with anticipation.

At the party Josh was sitting in a room with Simon and a bunch of the lads from the Christian Union, she hovered in the doorway for a minute, remembering the violent threats they’d made, these good Christian boys, the disgust in their eyes. The last time they’d seen her they’d called her a pervert, told her she better stay away from the girls or they’d be “forced to step in.” Guys she’d once considered friends until she’d told them who she really was, how quickly friendship had turned to hatred. Still, he was there, if she could just see him it’d be fine, she just knew that, somehow. Bravely, she took a breath and as casually as she could sauntered into the room, sitting herself cross legged on the floor next to the chair Josh was sitting in. There were a few gasps as she entered the room, but Josh didn’t seem to notice, he carried on with the anecdote he was telling. She glanced up at him. He was even more gorgeous in real life, she adjusted her neckline, maybe a bit of cleavage would get his attention! She was actually sitting at the feet of The Joshua Josephson! She couldn’t believe it, and there they were, his feet! Bare! So close she could touch them, overcome with emotion she reached out and touched his foot. He looked surprised as she found herself bursting out in tears. Simon and his friends shifted uncomfortably. Before she knew what she was doing she was massaging his feet, still crying like a pathetic fangirl. She reached into her handbag, pulled out the bottle of Yves Saint Laurent and began to use it as oil to massage his feet, as Joshua sat there looking bemused. She didn’t know what had come over her, but it just felt like the thing to do.

Simon looked at her scornfully. “How did he get in here?” he thought. He glanced at Joshua who didn’t seem at all bothered by the spectacle this pervert was making of himself “surely it’s obvious to him that’s not a real woman!” he thought “what sort of weirdo is he?” Suddenly Jude, one of Joshua’s friends, spoke up “What the hell are you doing?, do you know how much that perfume costs? Have you nothing better to spend your money on than perfume to douse celebrities with? You could have donated that money to the foodbank rather than this waste!” Simon was just about to point out that perfume was the least of the problems with this creature when Joshua snapped:
“Leave her alone!”
He bent down and gently lifted Mae’s chin so he could look her in the eye, he smiled at her
“Just look at this wonderful woman!” he exclaimed. “Simon, you invited me to your house, I travelled a long way to get here, it’s a hot stuffy day, I’ve been on a train for hours, but you didn’t even offer me a chance to shower before the party, and here she is, washing my feet with her tears. You didn’t even shake my hand but she’s massaged my aching feet!” then he turned to Jude “You could help the poor any time, you could have helped them yesterday if you really wanted to, you could help them tomorrow, but you won’t. Today you’ve got me here with you and you don’t seem to care that much, but she does!”

Turning back to Simon he said “You’re so full of your own self righteousness and self importance you don’t think you need to bother with me, but those who you consider “sinful” are far happier to be in my company. He looked at Mae. “Your faithfulness to me is amazing. Thank you, now go in peace, these guys won’t bother you again”

And they never did.

The ‘Jesus in Jeans’ series, reimagines what stories from the life of Jesus might look like if they happened today. This series doesn’t make any claims to be the gospel, to be the bible, or to be brilliantly sound theology (I’m a storyteller, not a theologian) Rather, it aims to help the reader think about the context of the story, what might have been going on in the lives of people Jesus touched, and to bring stories from a culture that can seem alien to us into the modern world to make them a bit more tangible to us.

If you’re a Christian, I hope these can give a fresh perspective to familiar stories, and if you’re not, please, read on, don’t dismiss them as not for you. Stories teach us, entertain us and connect us, we don’t have to share the faith the stories have grown out of to enjoy them, and I hope, that by setting these stories in the world we all inhabit they can be given a fresh relevance to those who may consider the originals a bit dry and dusty.