Ever since I was born again (met Jesus in a dream, quite unexpectedly) in 2012, a song that follows me around (car radio, TV commercials, overhead speakers at stores) is “Stuck in the Middle With You,” by Stealers Wheel. I finally realized that this song describes the journey that following Jesus will take us all on: we are literally stuck between the thieves we once were. We were once the scorner, then we were the repentant thief, then we were “stuck in the middle” with Jesus, and although this is a place of suffering, it is a place of expectant joy. We shall soon rise with Jesus, beyond what we could see (on the ground, jeering at Jesus or pretending to speak for him) as the “self-made” men (in the song) and the “clowns to the left me” (hedonists), “jokers to the right” (moralists, religion-worshippers). But Jesus had compassion on all of us. I have been a joker and a clown and claimed to be a “self-made” man as well. To not have compassion, to not pray for all people to receive the mercy I have been shown, would nail me right back to the scoffer’s cross. I beg of God, please don’t let me ever hang from that horrid place again. Amen!