The Bizarro Bible: Larry Lee Webb 12/07/16
(the first blog in a three part series by Larry)
If you grew up reading DC comic books, an explanation of “Bizarro World” is unnecessary.
The first fifty years of my life I was reading and hearing and being taught the Bible. The last seven years the Holy Spirit has opened my ears and eyes and heart to what I call here the “Bizarro” Bible. Evidently the Bizarro Bible was there within the Bible all the time, I had just conveniently ignored it, or more precisely because of one of my idols, named Personal Comfort, perhaps I just pretended it wasn’t there.
“But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” – Bizarro! It would seem that Jesus was trying to turn the world upside down with such folly.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Bizarro!
The reality is that I saw these words of Christ, but I never “saw” them. I heard these words, but I never “heard” them. Surely these were just nice sayings, nice theories, nice reflections, but irresponsible to take them at their face value. It doesn’t take being a rocket scientist to understand that going to school, running a business, raising children, being a responsible citizen, being a good church member, and generally living life just doesn’t work that way.
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” – Bizarro! Upside down!
I remember thinking that the poor needed me. Or that I could somehow help to fix their brokenness.
Could the reality be that I need the poor? Could they somehow help to fix my brokenness?
“For you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.” Maybe that’s why Christ declared that I would always have the poor with me, because I so desperately need them. – Bizarro!
This was never meant to glorify or idealize poverty, pain, suffering, brokenness; but as Jean Vanier wrote, “Those with whom Jesus identifies himself are regarded by society as misfits. And yet Jesus is that person who is hungry; Jesus is that woman who is confused and naked. … ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little ones in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me.’”(1.) Elachistos! Jesus is the “least of these.” “And the King will answer them, ’Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” – I need the poor because Jesus is the poor. – Bizarro!
(1.) “From Brokenness to Community”; Jean Vanier; Paulist Press; 1992; pg. 25.
(2.) Ibid; pg. 20