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Today I have it bad. Suddenly I just want to be like everyone else(whatever that means I haven't a clue). It must be the weather but more likely it is reading other peoples' blogs. Although most of the time it encourages me. Today, no. It is depressing. I guess it is the backfire of a virtual community. You think you have control, but what you really have is interpretation. Or what scares me more, misinterpretation. I hate it when it is done to me, and I really hate it when I do it to someone else. It is why I sometimes can't talk at all.

I love the fact that Jesus didn't interpret people. Jesus saw their core. I am sure in our humanness we totally mangle those blessed handed down words we call the bible and even get that wrong, but something I am totally convinced of in my "interpretations" is that when Jesus met the blind man, and the woman at the well, and the lame, leper, rich ruler, etc, etc. what was seen was individuals who were all different. And the very instant that Jesus saw them there was complete understanding and love. And what is more, there was a different answer for each of them. It has always struck me that Jesus did not dole out the same formula for any of them. So hypothetically, if the blind man went away and told two friends his formula for peace and the leper went away and told his two friends, and the woman at the well(ok she told a whole town)… if each one went away with a formula, fast forward to today. Can anyone say denomination?

Ok I admit it is simplistic. But wasn't Jesus really the master of tolerance? The master of the all inclusive? I mourn the fact that we, in pursuit of the perfect "faith community" create comfortable formulas that when fully developed actually exclude others. Jesus was truly remarkable because he included everyone. Except the ultimate excluders, the religious leaders. Are we there again? Can you say TNIV?

I know we need principles to live by and that isn't what I am talking about. What I can't get past is the instant judgment that occurs in a lot of faith circles. The sizing up. It doesn't really matter what the faith community looks like either. Tattooed and pierced, big hair and ties, jeans and flip-flops, etc. Maybe that is why I am afraid to go back now. Is it possible to live outside the categories? Or do I just want to find a category that is comforting and be done with it, never to be challenged by new thoughts caused by the differences I see? I love to explore those differences in others, but it often takes some work to just understand another person's perspective. So did we all just get lazy?

I once gave a talk on the woman at the well. In my personal pursuit of who she was I was shown how seemingly wrong the teaching I had received had been. The teaching seems to reside inside those categories. Maybe it was even dictated by the category, and so missing some of the point. I was blown away by what I "interpreted" and how different it was. And, as a woman, how hopeful. Someday I will post my perspective on her, but it is too long for now.

So If the blind man were to "judge", or "(mis)interpret" the woman at the well, what would that look like?

1 Comment

i can't wait to read your interpretation blair. i'm sorry 'you've got it bad'. here's hoping today is fresh and new.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on September 9, 2004 10:15 AM.

blair on stair going nowhere was the previous entry in this blog.

purple hair is good medicine is the next entry in this blog.

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