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What if God was one of us?

Joan of Arcadia was a television show (2003-2005) that came and went all too quickly.  The stories were insightful though its premise was simple: God regularly appeared to a teenage girl named Joan with assignments for her to do.  If you ever saw the show, you know that God took on some unique appearances and asked Joan to do some pretty interesting things.  But that was the point – we should be careful not to paint the Almighty into a corner.  After all, when you get right down to it, God is pretty creative.

 

Joan had two brothers, one (Kevin), was a paraplegic due to a car accident he had recently been in.  One of the plot lines of the show was his (and others) continuing adjustment to his disability.  In one episode, Kevin was at a music store and a CD accidentally fell into his wheelchair.  When he discovered it later and returned it to the store, the clerk told him to keep it.  Kevin understood that he was told this because he was in a wheelchair.  What the salesperson meant for mercy was in fact a put down because he dealt with Kevin as though his moral capacity was disabled rather than his legs.  He treated Kevin as less than the person he was and by doing so denied him of a place at the table with everyone else. 

 

Later Kevin and his younger brother, Luke, are in another store.  Kevin begins stuffing merchandise into his pockets telling Luke it’s “the wheelchair discount.”  When they get to the cash register to check out, he pays for only one item.  Luke makes him remove from his pocket the item that he is there to buy and when he does, Kevin asks the surprised salesperson if he wants him to him to empty out the rest of his pockets as well.  Of course, he is testing him.  He wants the salesperson to say “yes” (as he would to any other person), but the clerk quickly tells him he doesn’t have to.  Luke steps up to pay for his six dollar item with a twenty dollar bill and tells the salesperson to keep the change.  Kevin hears this and is convicted. 

 

Luke stood for right by paying for what Kevin had taken, but more important, he stood for Kevin!  By paying for what Kevin has stolen, he acknowledged his brother’s moral ability as well as his failure.  He treated him according to his ability rather than his disability. In effect, he extended to him the place at the table others had taken away.  Later on Kevin tells him, “You’re going to be proud of me again.”

 

Very early on in our pursuit of God, we’re likely to hear a message about our sin.  It’s not the kind of message we want to hear or like to hear (no matter how true it might be).  But in feeling the sting of condemnation for of our crimes, we need to also hear the affirmation of our person.  God is telling us we’re made in His image and He loves us too much to allow us to settle for less or treat us in a lesser manner.  In being convicted of our sin, we’ll do well to also be convinced of our worth.

 

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