Tuesday, February 26, 2008

At the hem of the world's worst…

As the hem of Christ's cloak, the Church ought to be known: draggéd and ragged in the dirt, unseen except by the lowest eyes. Unseen also, of course, by eyes intent on the heads of those with the lowest eyes, those high eyes intent on keeping their own heads high above such ragged rabble. Every effort to drag the church's "hemline" above the dirt in which Christ calls her, is an attempt to rend from Him Christ's royal robe, which his killers did before crucifying Him.

Of dust we are made and by water we are remade. Pouring the two elements together, we find the Church is made of mud men. And we all know mud men can only be strong for the weak by standing hours in the light of the sun. Yet we also know that mud men can only be soft for the dissolution of their muddy egos by soaking hours in the waters of new life. The supple humility of mud is what God makes of man. Mud being a substance both as low as the dirt and as high as sculpture, it is the medium in which sin may be washed away and virtue may be sculpted in.

If the poor will always be with us, we must always be with the poor. We are privileged to be the mere mud-splattered hem of Christ as He strides through the vanity fair of this life. We are privileged to be ground into the mud of the oppressed and grabbed by the hands of the sick. For only by being so pressed and grabbed do we know we are closely wrapped around the body of Christ. The pruning and shearing He does in the fabric of our life is His means of tailoring us into His own image and embrace. The cut go deep and the stitching can be unrelenting, but out of it we emerge immortal mud men.

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