Dude at Paradoxology is offering up some images of Protestant Evangelical worship and asking for reactions. The interesting thing about the picture in part 3 is that it looks a lot like a friend of mine, Rusty. Rusty is a surfer and a rebel from way back, sure he has found success in business but, man, I have never thought of him as a suit or a traditional evangelical conservative.
It just seems like we are so ready to categorize and criticize, and I would be right there judging if dude did not look so much like my friend and mentor. See I know my friend’s story, we have a relationship, we know each other’s deep stuff and that knowledge does not give me the freedom to judge him.
So what about the guy in the picture? My guess is that he is just someone who resembles my friend. Even so, it makes me think that this guy has a history that I have no idea about and this is just a snapshot of one moment in his life. I do not know his struggles or his joys. I have no idea what goes through his mind at night when he is staring at the ceiling before falling asleep. I do not know the situations that have drove him to his knees and has made him cry. I have no idea, if he is just a guy that resembles my friend Rusty. But if that is Rusty, I do know some of what he has been though and some of what makes him the man he is today.
Either way, I cannot bring myself to judge him or even quantify my opinion of what he is doing/experiencing in that picture simply because when I look at him I see my friend and I just cannot bring myself to presume his intentions or the veracity of his experience, much less ridicule or poke fun him.
That reminds me of another friend, one that promised us that He would stick closer to us then a brother. If I believe what I read in the bible is true then we are all bearers of His image. Do you see the parallel?