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A Startling Juxtaposition

Sometimes I am disappointed by how organized Christianity has to necessarily take on a certain style, image, and worldview. For instance, I just finished perusing a couple of blogs by an artist friend of mine in Alabama. She is a brilliantly gifted photographer, painter, and sculptor. She is deeply spiritual and a bit dark in her creations. Her thoughts are deep and her language constantly searches to find the significance of meaning in subtle images. Some might write her off as emo, but I know her as someone overwhelmed by the artistic statements that can be made in life. Her work is dark and serious. But very deeply spiritual and appreciative of relationship and beauty. I knew her as one of the few people in my life that has a true "spiritual sense" - she can detect the presence of spiritual entities. Ask me about this if you want to know more.

Anyway, I was emersing myself in her work, then popped back over to a website I have been creating for a church in California. The juxtaposition was startling as I suddenly saw this bright, all-smiles, podcasting, upper middle-class, slick marketing thing in front of me that supposedly represents the presence of God in the world. Suddenly I had a stark reminder that the way we present the kingdom of God is not exactly always in line with or related to the place in which many people exist in life. And the thing about it is that it would be impossible to "create" an "image" that would do this. We have got to get out from behind our forms and styles and really see the presence of the spirit and how that can become relevant to all. I, as a person, am not going to be relevant to a whole lot of people. I can surround myself with a lot of people that are like me and really feel like I am manufacturing some kind of importance (which is a huge thing that many ministers do), but the reality is that that is simply the creation of a insulation against things that are different and uncomfortable. The truth is that I like to dig through things like my artist friend's work because it makes me deal with the reality that I am a preppy, clean-cut, well-behaved, reasonably intelligent, white, Christian guy, which is well and good until it comes to the fact that I have absolutely nothing to say or do of any value to a majority of the world's population. So, you have to get over yourself and start realizing that it is God who works the spirit into people and places and styles and lives that I have no connection to otherwise. When you get over yourself, God can start revealing your true relevance. So, yay for preppy, clean cut, well-behaved, reasonably intelligent, white Christian people - you certainly have your place in the world and God is using you. Let's just not fool ourselves into subtley thinking that that is God's image. The world is much bigger that we are and somehow the Spirit is finding his way into people and lives that are tremendously different from us.


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