“Did Jesus Get Diarrhea?” and Other Burning Questions

by Tamara

'Mmm...pita bread' photo (c) 2010, jeffreyw - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I feel like shit, and I mean that about as literally as one can. I’m also probably going to puke any minute now. My kids have had a tummy bug, and of course now they decide to be great students of my “please share” philosophy. Where was this aptitude when I wanted a fun-size Butterfinger on Halloween? Ugh, forget it. Candy’s the last thing I want now.

Also I probably should have refrained from chili for dinner tonight. That’s gonna burn twice. Damn.

And I’m not trying to gross you out– I promise– but I’m just sitting here wondering, as my insides threaten to bust out: Did Jesus get diarrhea? Do you think he ever puked? I’m sure he didn’t make passive-aggressive mention of denied fun-size candy bars to his eye-rolling disciples, but, I mean, if we’re going to buy that he was fully human, then didn’t he surely get the shits?

My brilliant nurse practitioner friend says that, given the water quality and sanitation of the time, he probably had frequent diarrhea as a child. Then, as an adult, he would have had enough antibodies that he didn’t have to worry about it. So, okay, fine. (Also, I’m not sure I’d take that deal. Or any of his subsequent ones, come to think of it.)

But then I’m thinking, He broke so much bread! Yeah, there were like 153 fish that one time, but, you guys, all the bread. And let me tell you– because I can carb load like nobody’s business– you go around multiplying your pitas, and you are gonna be stopped the hell up.

And if he spent his childhood on the runs and his adulthood shitting bricks, then my curiosity really gets a little bent out of shape when I think about his adolescence. You know a young dude’s gonna wake up to morning wood– totally natural. But then what does he do?! Here’s all I’ll say about that: Jesus’ life is noticeably undocumented from about ages 12 to 30.

And speaking of his sexuality (which I totally just did!!!!!<–what!!! aslkdflsjkdfskd!!!!!!), what was Jesus’ orientation? Did he have romantic attractions that he just shut down on account of also sort of being Our Father? Or was he maybe asexual? That actually makes a ton of sense. I can totally see him friend-zoning us all.

I know maybe you think it’s weird that I think about this stuff, but here’s the thing: I have to really know this man. I have to know he was just like me, but also not like me at all. I have to know he dealt with real shit because how else could he deal with mine? I have to know he felt the whole range of human feelings because how else could he feel me?

I have to really know him because that’s how the whole thing works. If I have any chance of really being saved, I have to really be loved. And if I have any chance of really being loved, I have to really be known. And if I’m really known, then I can really know.

It’s like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Nasty Christian Edition, all coming back around like my stupid chili dinner.

A family friend once joked that maybe we get diarrhea as a product of the Fall. I think it’s pretty unfair that we haven’t managed to build the antibodies for sin in all this damn time since. But I guess maybe that’s where Jesus comes in with all those pita pockets. He’s like:

Listen, I know how much this sucks right now. I’ve totally been there.

But, here, take my bread.

It’ll bind you up.


27 Responses to ““Did Jesus Get Diarrhea?” and Other Burning Questions”

  1. Rodger November 21, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    Yeah, yeah, I get it. You like the salty language. You revel in the fact that you don’t hold your tongue. You want to work in the word “shit”, “ass”, and “sucks” in your writing as much as possible. I’m sure you think it is clever.

    BUT, writing about Jesus’ erections and bowel movements while you try and get across the point that you like to consider His humanity doesn’t sound sincere – it just sounds cheap.

    • Britty November 24, 2013 at 12:40 am #

      It only sounds cheap if you are of the archaic thinking that erections and bowel movements are something to be ashamed of.

      • Tamara November 25, 2013 at 9:50 am #

        Right. I’m not suggesting Jesus did anything wrong, just that he did allllll the normal things people do. WITHOUT doing anything wrong. That’s what I’m in awe of, you know? Totally human, totally gets us, totally perfect.

    • Tamara November 25, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      I don’t really know whether it’s clever or cheap; it’s just true. It’s just the stuff I think about. That’s what we do here, we lay it out– our stories, our thoughts, our hopes, our fears. It’s just life and faith shared on a website, Rodger.

      I think that you come here to start fights, and I can’t understand why, but I’m not into it. I’ll discuss real stuff with you any time you like, but I won’t fight with you about my word or topic choices. In fact, I won’t fight with you at all. This Jesus who probably had diarrhea and erections is a real person to me– that was the whole, simple point– and I will follow him to the ends of my own humility if I have to. I normally ignore your comments because they’re hurtful, but hear me this time: I will not fight with you. You can rake me over with your criticisms every time if you must. I will not fight. I will follow the very real Christ.

      • Justin November 25, 2013 at 11:03 am #

        Your response was disproportionately graceful and lovely, Tamara. High-fives all around. M

        • Julie November 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

          I love you, Justin.

      • Julie November 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

        Keep following your Christ, Tamara. He was really and wholly human, and He is really and wholly God. And He loves you just the way you are.

    • Emily Maynard November 25, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      I know that I need a Jesus who was fully human and fully God. This post made me think, laugh, and worship a Jesus of real, true humility. Thank you, Tamara.

    • Caleb Wilde November 25, 2013 at 11:59 am #

      Cheap? These associations do seem cheap when seen from a dualistic perspective. Freud (who I assume is below you, Rodger) said that we are gods with anuses. Despite the source, the statement bites at the core of the discussion. We — especially religious people — avoid such acknowledgements because they point to a reality we would rather forget. That we shit, that we are mortal and that we die. The incessant ignorance that the church has shown towards such “cheap” considerations is one of the many reasons why we’ve such a difficult time embracing the reality of our current situation (as opposed to our future, heavenly situation). We forget that Jesus entered this dirty, cheap situation. And until we remember that, we will tend to treat it as such.

  2. Alissa BC November 21, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    Wow. How have I never thought of any of that?!

    • Tamara November 25, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      Haha, welcome to my brain! ;)

  3. Barbara Luehring November 21, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Hi Tamara,
    I am always delighted when I see one of your posts in my email. My main question when I was a newer Christian and in the full throes of motherhood–was and is: Could Jesus have been a woman? ever? meaning that could there have been a “daughter of God” instead of a son–As I was kid-caring, house-cleaning, business-running (I know you get my drift) my answer was always hell no–he would not have the time to even think about sermonizing let alone have the time to do it–so as much as I might love Him I never felt really “gotten”.
    Of course, I guess she could use all her holy powers to take care of the mundane–want dinner–just reach into the basket–what? we are out of milk? check the carton again–and of course taking kids to soccer, school, etc would be no problem if she could simply be some place one minute and a completely different place the next. But then again if “Jesus” was “Jesusa” and made being a woman and all that comes with it easy then I would really feel like shit, because that is not how life shows up for me.
    Feel better fast.

    • Tamara November 25, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      Yes, yes, yes. This lack of the feminine in the divine has made me feel so lost and unknown too. But when I read about Jesus saying that he wanted to gather his people like a mother hen, I had an “aha!” moment. He could have chosen any simile he wanted; he purposely chose to describe himself as motherly. And I hold to that because I think it gives away something tremendous about the real Mother-Father God we have.

      • Buddy Black November 25, 2013 at 10:52 am #

        Tamara, Please dont feel lost and unknown. He created you (woman) last, his very last act of creation was you. As a partner, ezer kenegdo, for man. Not a helper. Not mans helper but HIS (GODS) connecter. I truly believe God created woman to be a bridge from him to man. To hold the man accountable here on this earth. Therein lies the crux, that power can be so devastating if corrupted. I sent you an email with all of my notes on this very subject back in April 2013. After reading those notes and the thoughts above it brings a WHOLE new light to Proverbs 31. Be blessed today ladies. EZER KENEGDO.

        • Tamara November 25, 2013 at 10:56 am #

          I appreciate the kindness, Buddy.

  4. UG November 21, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    Hi Mari,
    Nice post. I must admit, you lost me a bit with the alphabet soup. Guess I’m old and out of touch.
    I can understand the lack of documentation regarding adolescence; hard for canon writers to incorporate a story about lighting farts.
    As for this being shitty, I don’t know. Kind of made be give a crap.

    • Julie November 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      Love that you give a crap, UG. And Barb, I have “seen” Jesus as a woman and as a man, and both encounters were full of pure love, and I was fully known by him/her. Pure and holy love like God’s has no gender. Wonderful post, Tamara.

    • Tamara November 25, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      Thank you. I guess that was my whole post in a nutshell: Jesus gave a crap. :)

  5. Kreine November 22, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    I love that you wrote this & that I’m not the only one who wonders about the down & dirty of Jesus’s humanity.

    Also dealing with digestive issues here. I’d hug you, but, you know.

    • Tamara November 25, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      Haha, I hope you’ve mended up these last few days as I have. I think a lot of us wonder this kind of thing, and I can’t imagine a God who wants to be known would mind us asking.

  6. rachel lee November 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    this is so….oddly profound.

    • Tamara November 25, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      Hahahaha thanks, Rachel! Glad you got some good out of it. :)

  7. John Warner December 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    This is by far the greatest mystery in the history of the Lord. The great news is it doesn’t really matter if we knew he had diarrhea or not!

  8. Jonathan Brown January 13, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    I am new to reading your stuff, and hope to continue to do so. I have thought many of time, and long and hard about the things you discussed. The thing I was thinking even harder about is the use of “shit” and the like, and how that would likely bring you some issues.

    I think, while we are to be careful about the things we say, I think in Christianity we have moralized everything, and turned everything (particularly sexual and natural) in to taboo. For this reason, we lack the right kind of language and thinking about these subjects, and resort to the long failed notion of scaring the ‘shit’ our of our kids (pun intended) rather than explaining to them what all of it is about.

    For this reason, we raise kids with emotional and psychological complexes about sex, sexuality, their bodies, and their world. We create a false reality, that ultimately leaves them feeling betrayed and has them asking: “If my conception of reality was false, is my faith also?” While it may not sit well with some, candor is not the same as being lewd; and trying to buffer everyone’s experience does not make us much more like Christ…not by any stretch.


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