Alright, discuss amongst yourselves: what would you think if you met a woman at a social gathering and she had a nose ring or an eyebrow ring or one of those little ball studs sticking through her tongue (seems like that would get infected often, but to each her own)? You’ve already pegged her, haven’t you? Maybe not in a bad way, maybe just as an artist or a person who is really into wheat grass and spelt, who listens to indie music and drives a beat up Subaru. Right? Well, what if in the course of your conversation you discover she has three kids and a minivan and her husband is a pastor? Wow! Wouldn’t that rock your world? Can you love Jesus and have a little silver ball sticking out of your tongue?
I have a friend whom I met when he was a freshman in college and my husband was a campus minister at Appalachian State. When I met him, and quite before he was my friend, he had blue hair, a ratty old t-shirt, and possibly no shoes on, I can’t remember. This was at church on the stairs, and I remember thinking, “I bet I never see this guy again.” He was too radically different from the people at my church and in our campus fellowship, and would they even accept him if he continued to hang around? I was skeptical, and it turns out, very wrong. This guy Isaac, as quirky as he looked, was probably the most up front, open, and loving person I have ever met. And I would have missed getting to know him because I was hung up on his blue hair. And the fact that he washed plastic utensils and carried them in his shirt pocket for a week at the beach (but he was my friend by then). As you can see, his hair is no longer blue, but maybe this post will inspire him to break out the hair dye for old times’ sake.
So while I will probably never have one of those tongue piercings, or a tattoo, or blue hair, I don’t believe Jesus would care if I did. And as we start this church plant and look forward to meeting all sorts of new people, I hope it is full to the brim with Isaacs of all different hair colors and piercings, or lack thereof.