In a world that pushes us toward bigger, better, more costly and refined, seeing the humble as radiant is an act of holy resistance. Jesus dealt in seeds and sails. He spoke through dust and sermonized in spit. Set against a backdrop of faithlessness, lawlessness, and low-grade despair, he brought faith and healing through the overlooked, unspectacular elements of everyday life. He’s right here, in every dull, dusty corner, and even more, in every one of us bumbling, regular, milk-mustached kids trying to masquerade as big shots. This is why we need him near, and why it matters that we stick together. We welcome into our lives the complicated people doing their best but finding their own attempts lacking and remember neediness is our birthright. We show up for one another, pounding stakes into the earth we share, claiming our ground as humans who don’t want to be unspectacular on our own.
This is the alchemy of the ordinary, my humdrum humanity fusing with yours to create something altogether extraordinary. Somehow, crammed together in close proximity, we form a more luminous reflection of God and his wide, weird kingdom.
Isn’t it lovely?
When our well-being gets snarled up with the well-being of our neighbors, when we’re truly glad for the house with the vast array of lawn ornaments and the loud music only makes us think of dancing, we’ve found our song. When we carry a mental map of the crumbliest sidewalks and choose to walk them anyway, we will find ourselves at home. . . .
We are living, breathing contradictions set into haphazard motion from the foundations of the earth. When it comes to ministry, actively sharing God’s grace and love with the world, we need a whole lot of help.
But if we’re willing to wake up to the world pulsing around us, if we’re paying attention, we might be surprised.