[Warning: This smile has been known to light candles, so be sure and check before you leave the room that you’re not leaving a candle burning somewhere, unless it’s in your heart!]
We’ve had some wonderful responses to the idea of unorthodox “Ben”s among us. John sent us this by Jacob Nordby: “Blessed are the weird people, the poets and misfits, the artists, the writers, and music makers, the dreamers and the outsiders, for they force us to see the world differently.”
Blessed are the weird. A bit of a rewrite of the words of Jesus, but I don’t think Jesus would object. Especially since He Himself would qualify for this assessment. As would the prophets, and John the Baptist, and many of the disciples, for that matter. Unorthodox instruments of God, all of them. “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20) “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” (:21)
And Sandie wrote: “I see [‘Ben’] every time I look in the mirror … So many times I’ve had to apologize for being right … in the wrong way. My faith is upside down it seems.” No, Sandie, your faith is right side up. It’s the world that’s upside down. That’s why we’re here. That’s what the Catch is for. We’re for the disenfranchised, those who don’t fit — the outsiders. We’re turning things back up the way they’re supposed to be.
How many times have you been doing the right things for the right reasons when everyone is either judging you or telling you you are wrong? Welcome to the right side of wrong. Welcome to the up side of down. Welcome to the gospel according to “Ben.” Welcomed to grace turned outward.
It’s funny – I’d been thinking of my son when you asked about our St. Ben since he’s very outspoken (most recently meeting with our elders over a church policy announcement he felt was discriminatory). But he is also the guy who asked for yet another Bible so he could compare more of them side-by-side to study than his app would allow. And at 24 he is our church’s tech guy, provider of online streaming and maintainer of YouTube channel, drummer, singer, guitarist, bassist, worship team leader, fixer of computer problems, researcher for new sound board and SO much more.
But what Sandie said also resonated in her saying she sees Ben in the mirror. I think of things like having a missionary come and tell us about terrible human trafficking problems he was working on, and so many needs they had. There was an offer to pray for him which is lovely and appropriate and needed, but I just had to blurt out “How else are we helping? Let’s take a love offering!” My mouth often goes off where others fear to tread (admittedly not always with the best results, but always with the best of intentions).
I guess we’ve all “Ben” there at some point! Blessings on ya.
Lisa – you keep ‘mouthing off!’ Keep learning to hear and feel the Spirit and heed his prompting!
Yes, because true faith in light of institutional religion will almost always be unorthodox.
I need to clarify something I wrote yesterday. I have never apologized for speaking truth – rather I’ve had to apologize (and sometimes clean up a mess) for presenting it without proper respect and consideration. I’ve found that the apology usually brings more power to my message.
It’s a lonely spiritual walk when others (especially fellow believers) just don’t get ‘it.’ Especially when it’s clear as day to you. After a particularly trying experience years back, the Lord laid these verses on my heart… Ezekiel 2: 3-5. Not a day passes that I don’t feel their weight.
So I cling to Phillipians 1:6 and Romans 8:28. It’s all His – the defeats and victories – the tears and laughter…all of it.
That last part is really to the point. I believe their have been many folks in our lives who have really done right when so many others tell them they are wrong. I say always go with your gut feeling as its part of a great path to do what a person feels is best and not follow the crowd.
When I was a new believer I was afraid to trust that feeling; the people around me had known Jesus longer, so to my immature spirit they had to be right. Being an ‘expert’ doesn’t mean real, usable knowledge. Remember…experts built the Titanic.