Yo Mamma Wears Army Boots (& Other Blessings)

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If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. (1 Peter 4:14)

Try this one: In church go up to a complete stranger (preferably a visitor who’s a lot smaller than you), stick your face in his face—or in her face if you can’t handle the universal masculine pronoun thing—and growl, “I heard that you often change your mind. So, what do you do with the diapers?” Try it just for fun, and see what happens.

Okay, now say you’re at a cocktail party, perhaps an Episcopal church divorcée and singles event, and some contemptuous S.O.B. walks up to you and mutters at you, “They say opposites attract . . . so I sincerely hope you meet somebody who is an attractive, honest, intelligent, and cultured atheist.” Would you feel blessed?

The Bible insists that being shafted, shamed, and shat on for God is really a neat thing, a blessing in disguise so to speak.  James says we’re supposed to consider it pure joy whenever the proverbial poop hits the propeller. Why? Because when somebody flings manure at you, God flings glory. It’s not like God hoses you off; more like he plants flowers in it. To the perpetrator you are a pile of poop; to God you are a veritable compost pile popping with promise and periwinkles. To the one you are a heap of sewage that stinks to high heaven; to the other you are an aromatic mound of peculiar potential, a gorgeous garden of glory galore. Same poop; different perspective.

This perspective shift, however, is predicated on a particular provision.  It only works when somebody else is pitching the poop and only then when that poop is punishment for piety. It does not work with acts of stupidity, cupidity, lividity, rigidity, or incessant incidences of alliteration, assonance, and rhyme. In other words, if the shit fits, wear it.

Jesus reminded his disciples, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” He knew that the dolts who fling the crap are clueless. “They will treat you this way because of my name,” he told the boys, “for they do not know the One who sent me.” Jesus does take dung slinging seriously but mostly as a farming opportunity. Sticks and stones won’t break your bones. Then again, bone meal is a proven boon for bedding blooming bulbs.

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