i like anne lamott. she's real and honest and flawed and beautiful and offensive all at the same time. she is a story teller sharing her ugly beautiful journey of faith. a journey that often includes mistakes, mishaps and four letter words. i still take a shallow breath when i read or hear a follower of christ use profanity. it comes from years of training on how to identify other believers based on the following: they don't smoke, they don't drink, have pre-marital sex or curse, ever.
i was once told that if someone uses profanity in front of me to hold a stern grimace, look them dead in the eyes and say, that language offends me. bet they won't use those words in front of you after that, she said.
i often wonder if the disciples ever used profanity. what would curse words have been in that time, in that language? have you ever seen the deadliest catch? fishermen are nothing short of four letter words. do you suppose jesus looked at them and said that language offends me?
jesus doesn't strike me as one that was offended by much. among his companions you might find thieves, liars and whores just to mention a few. i don't picture these people suddenly becoming prim and proper because jesus joined the party. this ugliness was part of their journey on the road to the beautiful.
the ugly doesn't disappear when you encounter jesus, but it does become less in sight of the beauty he brings to your story.
i once read a post by someone i admire as a writer and believer. i said to jacob across the table, so-and-so used the f word. eisley looks up from her artwork and says, mommy, what's the f word? she's dying to know what the f word is and i keep telling her it's just a strong word that our family doesn't use. it's like stupid and butt. we just don't use those words because they are strong and aren't appropriate for children to use.
in parenting it isn't my goal to teach my children what should and shouldn't offend them. this will come to them as they work out their own salvation. however, i pray every day that they are offended more by the people that go hungry, by children orphaned and unloved, the widows alone and lonely, the poor, the hurting, the broken and beaten down. these are the things i hope offend and break their hearts. the very things that offended and broke the heart of jesus.
let us all be offended.
*linking up with carissa for miscellany monday