The Mercy to be Ordinary

At the next table are two young lovers occupying one chair. (You see more of this on Friday's) Oblivious to decorum or public protocol (Is there such a thing?) they are making sure they will somehow linger upon each other throughout the day.

Whatever average might mean, they are not an average couple. They are attractive in a quintessential Hollywood way. Everything in place, every article fitting right, every accessory coordinated, and the overall effect speaks hip, maybe just a touch ahead of hip. They are the image of the kind of couple, that in our shallower moments, at some time in our lives, we all secretly wished we were, or at least wondered what it would feel like to be. Of course I've made a judgment based on appearance. They may in fact be sterling in character. But then, there's the exhibitionist thing…hmm

It's hard to be ordinary. Hard to want to be ordinary. But think about ordinary this way: Ordinary people are self-aware. They have come to know their dependence on others and their dependence on the forgiveness of others and of God. In this experiential knowledge they are free…not occupied being the "lonely hero". They're not locked into being "unlike" everyone else and so being like everybody else.

Ordinary people are unique. They know they can be easily sucked into desiring and so being ruled by what's, well, hip. They also know that fashion is a trivial idol. That fashion is just an easy diversionary target for those of us prone to be governed by subtler idols.

Do you see how the mercy of Jesus opens up for us this self-awareness? Do you see that in the forgiving presence of Jesus we can afford to be terribly ordinary? And do you see how this change in desire is a gift for those around us?

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