Okay so you have seen this image before, a picture is worth a thousand words, they say. So as I said this image has helped me to think through things for a couple years now. From time to time I will repost this image and just babble my thoughts, no guarantee on whether or not they will be coherent. Join me in the thinking, what say you?
Does presentation matter?
What if I were to prepare for you your favorite food? I even made it so well that it made you want to immediately go fight your mom. Why would you go fight your mom? Because she never made it so good. Anyway, that’s not the point, the point is that it’s your favorite food, and it’s well made, and I am offering it to you. Only thing is, I present it to you in a dirty, old toilet bowl. You still want it? Hopefully you said no.
Don’t they say that you can never undue a bad first impression or something like that. Say you meet me for the first time and I am dirty and incoherent because I have been out in the Arizona sun, working in my yard. So my brain has literally been fried. What might you think of me? You may think that I am a crazy person, you may be right. Now, if you just happened upon me in my yard .the context of my condition), it may make sense to you. You will now understand my condition and probably give me the benefit of the doubt. But say I went to your house immediately after working myself into an insane frenzy. It would be stupid of me, to show up in this condition, knowing that I am about to meet you for the first time.
So what the point? Perhaps we can at times be genuine in our excitement for God, for God’s love, justice and peace, that we present our excitement in ways that make us seem crazy. Perhaps we in our ignorance and lack of being evangelized (being a student of life and culture) inadvertently present or offer good things in bad ways. And when we do this, the good, becomes bad. Like the food, once I put it in a dirty toilet bowl, it’s no longer good. What a waste.
We can all be guilty of doing this. For the fundamentalist peoples out there, it’s done through aggression and salesmanship, which in many cases makes good news very bad. (And granted there are places where what is being offered is not actually good news, or food or whatever, but it is actually something other, that’s not the point.) For my emergent/emerging/POMO & socialist friends sometimes our cynicism and reaction*ism to what we see as wrong, makes our good message, bad.
I know personally, that I want to move beyond cynicism, to let it push me to hope and move me to compassion. I want to present something beautiful, to put on display a life that accurately represents who I say I am. I don’t want to take something beautiful and make a monstrosity out of it.