Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Scarecrow

I am the scarecrow, the tatterdemalion, the object of ridicule. By all normal human standards, I am a fool, and properly despised for my folly. You will not want to know me; still less will you ever want to be me. I have thrown away the tangible benefits of this world for some “good” which you cannot see, hear, smell, taste or touch. Sometimes I cannot even tell you what that good is supposed to be, I just know that I must cast aside everything else for the sake of what I cannot even name. I have invited rejection, even anger, when I could have simply kept my mouth shut.

I am the one who spent a century building a boat on dry land. I am the one who, already an old man, left behind my whole world: city, family, friends to journey to another land and claim it, even though the only part I ever owned was a grave. I am the same old man, still childless in my withered years, daring still to believe that God would give me a child.

I am the one who gave up a life of comfort ease, wealth and position to lead a nation of stubborn slaves, who weren’t sure they wanted me as a leader anyway. I am the one who saw the army behind, and the waters in front, stretched my arm forth over the water and led a multitude of slaves across the bed of the sea whilst the waters towered up beside us.

I am the boy who went out with five little stones against a giant. I am the prostitute in the walled city who threw in her lot with a bunch of nomads worshipping a God she did not know.

I am the scarecrow. Laugh at my madness. I am the prophet who lay on his side; I am the prophet who wept for Jerusalem while she basked in peace. I am the young men who would rather be thrown in the fire than bow down to a glorious statue. I am the woman of shame who poured out her most precious possession at the feet of the young teacher while the rulers glared and mocked. I am the dreamer, the legion of dreamers, for whom this world, in all its finery, could never be good enough.

I am the joke of the universe, clinging to the hope that I will have the last laugh. I am the young, unmarried peasant woman accepting the burden and social stigma of a miraculous pregnancy. I am the unclean woman slinking through the crowd, until my outstretched fingers grazed the hem of a garment. I am everyone who dared to turn aside from the pursuit of power and pleasure to pledge allegiance to a king they could not see. The world no longer had a place for me, but I know there is a place prepared for me in a world that is unshakeable.

A scarecrow has few friends, except among its own kind. We stand in the biting rain whilst a proud world feasts before a blazing fire. And sometimes the cold rain mingles with my tears, for a scarecrow has a human heart, and that heart has drunk deep of pain. You may kill me, beat me, cast me aside, yet you cannot destroy me, for my name has been written in the stars. My king is faithful, and my life belongs to Him.

I am the scarecrow, a figure of mockery and scorn. My citizenship is in a place where I have never been. On earth I am a misfit, but there is another city where I shall not be left abandoned in the fields, but serve in the King’s own courts and wear His livery of love. My story will be retold there as a thing of wonder, because my story will be part of His story, and on that day no other stories will be told.

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