"WTF" Moments in the Gospels with BrianJesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the
tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of
God ahead of you.
So, here I am sitting in an open air coffee shop that faces the Gulf of Thailand, waiting for a groggy gaggle of Jazzy Piggies to get out of bed. One is rather burnt and in pain, the others being from Asian or Mid-eastern decent, have fared better. There are some advantages to being non-white. The tropical shrubs in planters just outside the cafe are all bending toward me, extending their fronds to greet me or to look over my shoulder to get a peek at the content of my post. Nearby shops are preparing for the first customers of the day. Herds of cows lazily nibble grass on the side of the road. The solitude is interrupted by a text coming in: "Can you go out and get us some aloe and some screen? I text back, "Only if you get your sorry butts out of bed and come with me!" No reply.
The Jazzy Piggies leave tomorrow. We had a debriefing in my room last night, and I thought, "Gosh, what a fruitful time we all had." They worked incredibly hard teaching their English and Music classes, and made many relationships. Each night when they slept on at the DOVE Drop In Center on the office floor, they hung out with the staff playing UNO into the wee hours of the night. This was an extremely valuable learning experience for me. They taught me how to time hang out with people again. And I like it. It opens so many doors for deep, thoughtful, provoking conversations. I had always been too busy working hard, then running home to the solitude of my house, than to engage in the secular aspect of everyday conversation and hanging out. But, where do we really find God. In church? Our quite time? No,he is found in everyday normal existence and suffering of the mass of humanity. So how spiritual can we be when our lives consist of driving to work, working, coming home,etc? The most spiritual thing we can do is to try to become fully human, and that means hanging out where he hangs out: with tax collectors and prostitutes.
Oh you Jazzy Piggies, who are you to teach me? You teach me that although you may be young, you are people of great depth. Oh, to have had what you have when I was in my early 20's (or 30's and even 40's)! Thank you Jazzy Piggies, for looking past your Sunday School Jesus for the real Jesus who is out there in the urban ghettos and the isolated villages. Thank you Jazzy Piggies for not being satisfied with the status-quo, and for your willingness to embrace a Jesus who is not predictable, not reasonable, and not able to be domesticated like too many of us prefer.
Maybe I am one of the reasons God brought us to Cambodia together, so that you could teach me, and give me hope that your generation will be the generation that impacts this world for the kingdom, to restore my hope that there are some Jesus followers, somewhere, who will break out of their cultural prison, leave the chains behind and bear witness to the Kingdom of God in the same way Jesus did.
This ones for you Jazzies!