Q & A with John the Baptist

Sometimes I wish we still wrote pamphlets with incredibly long titles.* If so, this post/pamphlet would be: “’Who are You, Then?’ and Other Questions Asked of John the Baptist Which He Probably Also Asked Himself,” or “Two Sides to the Conversation: John the Baptist’s Exchange with the Religious Leaders” or “The Confluence of Identity and Faith, as Presented in John the Baptist’s Exchange with the Temple Delegation.” Actually, those sound like master’s thesis titles, and I promise this is not a thesis!

We’ll just stick with “Q & A.” Continue reading

Who Am I?

A block of precious marble

but still cut from the earth like any other rock

specially selected

hand chosen

to be carved into the likeness of the Son

Like Michelangelo carving David: “It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.”

Just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like Christ

Many shards–large and small–fall away

But the sculptor hits a vein in the marble

Progress halts

until the stone releases that weak, discolored thread it grasps so frantically

Why, Lord, did you choose THIS block of marble

knowing that an ugly, feeble vein was hidden inside?

He chose it for the veins

not despite them

not ignorant of them

Those veins make this image of the Son different from all His others

Those veins are the stone’s beauty

merged into Christ

“Sometimes I consider myself there, as a stone before a carver, whereof he is to make a statue:  presenting myself thus before GOD, I desire Him to make His perfect image in my soul, and render me entirely like Himself.”  –Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  –Romans 8:29

On occasion, the rebel in me rises up and questions the idea of being ‘conformed to’ an image alongside thousands of others.  I don’t want to look like/act like/think like everybody else.  Conformity is the antithesis of creativity.  As I was pondering this Brother Lawrence quote alongside everything God has revealed to me about beauty recently, this image of the veins in the marble arose.  The veins, though they have to be…tamed…differentiate one statue from another without actually changing the form.  Such is the uniqueness we have in Christ even as we are conformed to His image.

“Who Am I?” A poem of identity that’s, ironically, not about me. (click to tweet)

Do you have an image that helps you understand our identity in Christ? Please share it in the comments!