All are worthy of dignity and love in an upside-down kingdom


It’s been a weird week.  It’s left my face scrunchled up trying to figure it out.  I’ve realized that I can’t, though.  Cause some weeks just are what they are and it’s better to just let ’em roll.

I’ve always thought that I needed order.  Stability.

I’ve always thought that I thrive on routine.  Rhythmic days.  Moving to the tick of the clock.

It was only a few short years ago that we kicked all that to the curb.  The plans and the ideals and the certain way of doing things.  Upon looking back, it seems ages ago that we threw up our hands and fell on our knees and gave it all up.  The job.  The home.  The security of knowing how we were going to pay bills.  But it only seems ages ago because so much happens when you decide to stop deciding and follow paths that seem sort of crazy.

I’m so thankful for weeks like this when I’m reminded that I couldn’t make this stuff up.  There is no way on the planet I could orchestrate the life that happens to us.  Noone would jot this stuff down on their 10 year plan and yet here we are, living it and loving it more than any list that could proclaim ‘bigger house, more vacations and moving up the corporate ladder’.

It may not look like much, I assure you.  From the outside it’s just people.  Just interactions.  But to me it’s relationship and connection and seeing Christ in all and I can’t help but be humbled that he would allow me the moments I have.

I met the deputy health minister of our great province.  I brought my son along because, heck, why not.  It’s not every day you meet deputy’s of anything.  I was nervous because I assumed she was fancy and I’m not fancy and I just wanted to hide behind my racks of used clothing and do what I do at the youth clinic instead of shaking hands and hob nobbing the way fancy sorts do.

Schmoozing is not my forte.  Small talk doesn’t look pretty on me.  It looks like cats getting caught ready to dig up your flower bed, all wide eyed and frozen.  I nod alot.  And agree alot.  And then nod some more, all the while thinking, “Is this almost over?  And does my face look frozen?” So I was worried about the impressing of the fancy person and feeling insecure about my lack of fancy and I figured I’d just stay in my little room with laid out shoes and non-perishables and maybe it would all go away.

And then she pulled in on her motorcycle.

I could have smacked myself in the head because I always forget. Just because people have a title and drive and have accomplished big things in their life doesn’t mean they want to sit around and have their ego’s stroked and be told how wonderful  they are for doing all that they do.

Most often I find that they are really just commited and driven people who have a passion for something and have worked damn hard to accomplish it.  Most often I find that the title means very little to them and is merely a way for them to take what they do to the next level.

So as I shook her hand and explained that I have the privilege of giving clothing and food and dishes and stuff (your stuff, I might add!) to the youth in our community who are in need, she simply smiled and nodded and asked questions about how this works.

And within 3 minutes she was off to the next person talking to them about what they do.

Fast forward 2 days and I find myself on a park bench chatting with a lovely aboriginal woman who use to sleep in this very park.  She had a beautiful smile and such a warmth to her voice but her arms told a tale of life lived hard.

I use to be afraid of people who had lived hard.  Afraid that they would lash out at me for having a seemingly cushy life.  Afraid that they would judge me because I have lip gloss and a place to sleep.

But I’ve learned not to be afraid of marks and bruises because I have a few myself.  Sure, they may not be right out there on the surface of my skin but I assure you, they’re there.

Moments later I’m approached by a man who tells me how pretty I am.  How my eyes sparkle.  How someone told him there would be free food there, at the park, and he couldn’t find it.  Could I help him find it?

And I’m torn between the feelings of meeting fancy people and meeting a woman with scars so real and wanting to help a man find food but being wise enough to the human condition to know that the one he’s calling pretty and sparkly is probably not the one who should take him for dinner. I’m torn because the humans I meet are all the same.  Deputy’s and women with scars and men who need food.  We all have marks and scars and insecurities and bruises.

But I’m torn for a second between kindness and personal safety and I whisper a prayer in my head.

It’s then that our lovely conversation shifts and he asks if my husband is here and I shake my head no with a polite smile.  The words that come out of his mouth next are honey and his hand reaches over too near to my shoulder and I move aside and look him straight in the eye and tell him, with strength and with dignity, that he may not touch me, I belong to another.  I tell him to have a lovely evening and that he may go now and I politely use my no thank-you’s when he tries to shake my hand.

The places I find myself are beyond my dreams.  Meeting important people in our government system and meeting beautiful women with scars and meeting men who have misplaced notions of what is appropriate and all the while God is telling me, “I made them.  They are mine.”

So I can’t be scared of the fancy or of the man or of the scars.  They are his and they bear his image and that might sometimes be hard to see but my heart screams out that they are his image bearers and whatever we say and whatever we do to all of them is what we do unto Him.

I can’t believe I have the honour of interacting with this diverse a crowd within a matter of days.  I’m thankful that the rhythm of our life doesn’t hold us to a certain crowd or stigma.  I’m thankful that my circle doesn’t include people that simply look and sound and dress like me.  Doesn’t lock us into being only in certain situations with people who, in this world, are deemed important.   They’re all important.  Each one.  The one with the title no more so than the man who doesn’t know boundaries.  By the worlds standards they aren’t even comparable but to God, they’re both his.

The upside down kingdom life is my favorite.  You never know where it will lead.



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