I’ve been listening to Mat Kearney’s new album. These words from the song “Hawthorne” keep running through my head: “the Jesus of prostitutes is chasing my soul.”
Those words seem so wonderful and comforting, but it takes me a few days before I stop to consider why. Why does it feel right and good to sing about “the Jesus of prostitutes”? Wouldn’t I rather sing about the Jesus of overly-educated-suburban-mothers-of-young-children? You know, the Jesus-of-me?
No, I really wouldn’t.
I am not actually a follower of the Jesus-of-me (though, some days, I act as if I am). I am a follower of the Jesus who loves the least, the powerless, the set aside, the unseen. I am a follower of the One Who Sees (Genesis 16:13).
Pain. Injustice. Small, seemingly insignificant people. We may look away or keep our eyes closed, but He never does.
You would think that prostitutes would no longer be among the unseen. Not in our hyper-sexed, anything-goes culture, right? But, of course, they are.
I am reminded of this when my friend tells me about a group of locals organizing together to show love in practical ways to the prostitutes who work a particular street. I hadn’t realized there were prostitutes on that street.
Ironically, God shows us throughout his Word that one reason he loves prostitutes – one reason he is their God – is because they see.
Pushed to the edges of her community, Rahab saw the truth. She knew whose side she wanted to be on. The woman with the expensive perfume? She was the only one who truly saw the Beauty-Deserving-of-Worship in that room.
I strive to have the clarity of vision those women had. I accept that one reason they had it was because they were not among their community’s successful, powerful elite.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
This is Kingdom-of-God logic, and it turns the Kingdom-of-the-world logic on its head.
It isn’t telling us to close our eyes, to accept injustice. Rather, it says to us: “Take heart! The Kingdom of God has come. And all around you, and even through you, the tables of this world are being turned. The moneychangers are kicked to the curb, and all is being set right.”
The One who Sees, the One Who is Making All Right: He is a lion, He is a lamb. He is the Jesus of prostitutes.