Mustard Seed Budget linked to a cute story about a guy who came to Christ as a beach bum, called “He Evangelized Nude.” Yet another of Christ’s diamonds in the rough or perhaps in this case a diamond in the buff.
I love the way Christ can come to anyone, anywhere, at anytime, no matter who you are or what you are doing. He comes to call us back to Him sometimes, no matter how far we have wandered or where we are hiding. Seek and you shall find…
There are many people who are a bit rough around the edges and so many times I have been reminded that those are the exact kind of people Christ chose to walk with here on Earth. Murderers, thieves, prostitutes, and tax collectors. That is who we all are really, an assorted collection of various sinners and riff raff, rough around the edges.
People these days like to speak a lot about equality and tolerance, but long ago Christ walked the Earth and taught us a few things about turning the world on its head and seeing things as God sees them rather than as people define them. We are all about status, class, and perceived hierarchies in the people world, but God doesn’t operate like that at all.
Christ tells us, Blessed are the poor in spirit, Blessed are the meek, Blessed are the pure in heart, a whole list of attributes that are the precise opposite of what the world tells us are desirable. He speaks too, of what you do for the least of these you do for me. There are powerful words all through scripture that make no bones about it. Proverbs 14:31 says, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker.” Contempt for our very Maker!
In the people world, it is all about our perceived status, class, dominance, power, as if we really are just like a pack of wolves all seeking alpha status. That may well be what it looks like in the world, but that is actually a deception. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we hear, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
There are many paradoxes within scripture. A paradox is “a statement that apparently contradicts itself and yet might be true.” Paradoxes are some of the most challenging things for the human brain to process, because we don’t do so well with truths that seem to contradict themselves. That is a quirk in our thinking, not an error in scripture. We see these things as paradoxes because we are deceived, because we do not now what we think we know, but we cling to it anyway.
At the end of our time here on Earth, all these things fall away, all the judgments and power plays, all the hierarchies and imagined status, all the things we think are true about ourselves and who we are. These things are just spinnings of our own imaginations, the way we try to make sense of our world. Eventually those who are strong become weak, those who are healthy grow sick, outward beauty fades, wealth can pass away. Power ebbs and flows and changes.
In the end we are all just diamonds in the buff.