Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Long List of Fools

Hi everyone. Here's my Spur for the week.

A Long List of Fools
By Marcia Lee Laycock

Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God's fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect. - (Mark Twain, a Biography)

Mark Twain was in good company. There have been scores of men and women throughout history who could be called God’s fools. I could list them, but it would take many pages, many books. Their accomplishments in life would fill a hundred libraries. Some of these fools have made us laugh and cry. Some of them have given us life-saving medicines and work-saving inventions. Some of them have changed nations and stabilized governments. Some of them will forever remain unknown, yet they have given us life itself. Their accomplishments in the heavenly realm would no doubt fill even more libraries. All of them are worthy of respect.

But what about those who don’t look like achievers, but failures? What about those who live lifestyles we don’t agree with, or go by doctrines other than our own? What determines who is worthy of our respect?

I think Mark Twain had it right. Respect is due to all of God’s creatures, regardless of their position in life, regardless of their opinions and lifestyles. Every one of us is made in God’s image, made to glorify Him. Even those who choose not to do so are worthy of respect as creatures created in His image. Jesus set the example for this by his greatest of all acts of love. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

God doesn’t love me because I love Him. He loves me because I am His creation, His child. He loved those who spit at Him on the via Dolorosa. They were His sons and daughters. He loved those who hammered the nails into His hands. They were His soldiers. He even prayed for them, in the very throes of his torturous death. And He asks us to do the same. That’s part of the foolishness of Christianity. Indeed, it is its very foundation. Those who practice it will perhaps be called fools, and worse, but their obedience to God’s law of love is paramount.

Respect is due all men and women. And what is the chief sign of respect? That we share our hearts with one another; that we honour one another with our thoughts, our feelings, our hopes and dreams. When we do that, with open hearts, we may find we’re not so very different. We may find we are, in fact, all fools of one kind or another.

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