23: The Different (part 2 of The Hook)
My son has cerebral palsy, among other things. I sometimes get glimpses of him through others eyes that leave me flattened. It was here that I asked the question first and here I share the answer that has been brewing within.
What will I teach you one day – when a stare hurts deep?
This. This is what I shall teach you.
There are 2 kinds of different.
There is the “different” we chase.
All humanity longs for it and is in relentless struggle to grasp – the rare, the beautiful, the precious, diamonds, gold, innovations, things and people that revolutionize – that cut open new doors.
And there is the “different” that we throw aside.
The sub-par, the things that we see as wasting our time, our energy, the rotten tomatoes that we throw out, the people and things that subtract from our lives, this is the “different” that we avoid.
Many don’t know how to discern between these two types of different.
Some, too many, would sooner throw out the dusty, rock-encrusted diamond, than see what lies underneath.
They would throw it out because they will not pause.
Their minds have not yet comprehended the stillness needed
to see a bird,
to catch a fish,
to decipher a baby’s need,
to see the glimmer.
Without the pause, life is a mad dash from one false trinket to another.
Few have the patience and humility needed to pull back veil after veil before they see the beauty within.
How many horrid baubles are snatched up for their false glow?
How many unspeakable beauties are set aside for their pallid exterior?
It will be your choice, son, and it always has been. Every day. 100’s of times a day you must choose:
whether to let those mad-dashers with their rotten-tomato-stares penetrate your soul,
whether to focus on your own story, what is within your grasp – to see and be refreshed by the wells that Jesus can lay within your walls.
It is no easy choice. Never.
Knowing that the rotten-tomato-stares eat away the insides of those who wear them, perhaps that should help. It doesn’t.
To properly discern the different, this is gift.
…all have the advantage.
You my son, you have the inside scoop between the two.
You have the mountain top vantage point to see these peeks above the clouds, the eyes to see beneath the muck that encrusts us all, and this, this is GIFT!
I see it. I see the joy in your eyes. I see the quick discernment.
Pretensions are gone in your world.
Those rotten tomato stares they don’t hurt you deep right now, because your eyes look beyond them for the infinite beauty God places below the surface.
Keep it up son. Don’t descend. Keep smiling, boy! Know the joy of The Lord. Know the joy that transcends circumstance, the joy that abounds when wine and new grain don’t.
And the whole hook thing – not a big deal, not when you are in the arms of the good shepherd. His hook is sufficient. His reach is far, and his grip is comfort to the weary. The different and those with rotten-tomato-stares can both find comfort in him and be made whole.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-3
As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. – James 5:11
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[a] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[b] also glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. – Romans 5:2-4
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word. – Psalm 119:37
in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. – 1 Corinthians 15:52