Friday, February 11, 2011

Paradoxes, Part 2 (Nathan Wagner)

Here is the conclusion of the thoughts by Nathan Wagner stemming from his week working at a camp for adults with disabilities. Nathan does a wonderful job in tying his lesson together and making us realize how blessed we are.

They had these dance parties at camp. One of them was a Scottish Highlander theme. After helping my campers put on their costumes, I tied my makeshift kilt (aka flannel shirt) around my waste and pulled up my long green socks and headed to the basketball court for the dance party. I wonʼt lie; Iʼm not a dancer. In fact, in high school, I was an anti-dancer. But watching the campers rock out to contemporary Christian, I couldnʼt help but be infected by their pure joy and bliss. And in doing so my life was forever changed. At some point between rocking my air guitar and performing a corrupted version of Riverdance, I realized that the dancing was ugly. Imagine two hundred people with various disabilities--and about 150 “normal” people--trying to dance on a tennis court, to Reliant K. Seriously, it was the ugliest thing Iʼve ever seen. But it was beautiful.

I believe that my faith is ugly. Iʼll be the first to admit that Iʼm a sinner--a habitual sinner, who is fallen, flawed, and far from perfect. I believe that God made an earth that was perfect and beautiful. That it quickly became ugly through our own attempts to beautify it, to fix it. For thousands of years, we tried to make it more and more beautiful and only ended up making it uglier. I believe that what happened to Jesus was ugly. He was beaten, flogged, tortured, mocked, humiliated, shamed, and abandoned by his friends, his family, and forsaken by his Father. He was hung on a cross, exposed to the world. Itʼs was ugly. But the outcome of that was beautiful, for through that pain, ugliness and sacrifice, we were redeemed.

Few people in the world listen for the voice of God, search for his calling. I challenge you to. At times I feel inadequate and undeserving of the gift of grace. I am. And so are you. We all are, and thatʼs what makes us beautiful. On our own weʼre nothing, but with Christ in us we find everything. That strength in weakness, that hope in despair is what I find beautiful. Robert Browning once wrote: “Oh, but a manʼs reach should exceed his grasp or whatʼs a heaven for.” Life isnʼt about “getting it perfect” all the time. Life is about striving toward that goal of holiness, of living like Christ. Thatʼs why I donʼt care about the past because I want to look forward. I believe you understand that, too, and are striving to be better. Thatʼs why I think you are beautiful. I donʼt want perfection, just progression because that ugly path is beautiful.

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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Karin said...

Thanks for visiting, God bless you!

Toyin O. said...

So true, the beauty of God is sometimes deeply reflected in our trials. Thanks for sharing.

Jacob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacob said...

I agree. Many people strugggle to hear Gods call, including me. But Jesus is our hearing aid. Good post. Have a good weekend Coach Hawley.

Lauralee said...

Hi. Your blog is nice. I followed. Please come over to mine sometime. :)