Folding laundry can be enlightening sometimes…at least when I’m listening to Michael Card.
Feeling a little overwhelmed by all that needs doing in the next few weeks and unsure where to focus—including what to blog about—I decided tonight to tackle the obvious: a couple of piles of clean clothes and towels. And continue where I’d left off in Michael Card’s “Joy in the Journey” album earlier. (You can hear samples here if you’d like.)
As so often, his music helped quiet and re-center my soul, reminding me of the main things, the important things. The “one thing” Jesus told Martha is necessary.
While I listened and folded, my thoughts began to flow with the music.
“God’s Own Fool,” always one of my favorites, made me think of all those I know of—including my own family—who have and are taking steps in following Jesus that might seem “foolish” to the world. Seeking to give a voice to the voiceless, whether the First Peoples of our nation or the unborn. Giving up more lucrative jobs to seek to advance His kingdom where Jesus isn’t yet known. Loving and discipling young people through the arts in a little theater company. Reaching out to those who are sick. Serving and doing life alongside those in our city who are homeless.
Even my spending so much time researching and writing stories that might not be most popular in the current market might seem foolish, I suppose.
But we follow One the world considered a fool, also. For “God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” ~I Corinthians 1:21b-24
The song “Scandalon” struck me too, reminding me that Jesus, and we who follow Him, not only can seem foolish, but can offend. Not necessarily in the way we Christians often seem to today, but by His very being, His refusal to play by our rules or bow to our pettiness, His holy clarity that cuts through both our self-righteous hypocrisy and our blatant sinfulness. And as the above scripture states, His cross offends too. I remember being on a field trip to a Buddhist temple, and our guide—a white American, actually—said that what drew him to Buddhism in contrast to Christianity was that following Jesus would require acknowledging that however much he did himself, it would never be enough without Christ’s cross. That was offensive to him.
Then came “Immanuel.” In so many times and situations this song has ministered to me. Tonight it reminded me of the “why”—why we follow “God’s Own Fool” and become “fools” ourselves, why the offense of the cross is so worth it. Because “If God is for us, who is against us?” And “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 8:31, 38-39
And then, as I’ve written this post, “That’s What Faith Must Be” playing on my iTunes has tied it all together, in some sense. With all my family and some dear friends are dealing with right now, with what new steps the Lord will have me take this year, we walk by faith, not by sight. Holding onto His hand, which, while we can’t physically hold it, will never let us go.