First off, I received a good amount of mail regarding yesterdays post. Many funny/sad/terrifying accounts of douchebaggery in the name of Jesus, and a couple of Bible-beater antics that made my hands clammy. You were all super cool about it, too, the way you kept it on the DL and sent your stories in private messages. I mean, what kind of person would call somebody out, like, publicly, on the Internet?...
I'm sort of (completely) picking up in the middle here so you might need to read this first... Go ahead. We'll wait...Ok, all caught up? Good.
Anyway, sorry about yesterday...I was a jerk and I left you hanging. But I had stuff to do - you know how it is. So, um, I'm just gonna go ahead and pick up pretty much exactly where we left off....Okay, sooo:
You know when someone does or says something to you and then you spend like the rest of the day thinking of all the things you shoulda said and what your gonna do next time - even though you know that there will never actually be a next time and that the moment will never ever come for you to use that snarky come-back or clever quip? This was like that, except that there was gonna be a next time. A definitive next time. A next time that I was in complete control of. The Grand Daddy of all next times. And I was not gonna to screw it up.
I had 20 minutes at my disposal. And one week to prepare. What.to.do...became the question of the hour.
News of nose-ring persecution travels fast. So when I finally escaped his presence after our second hour of class, I was met by a group of friends who had already heard what happened. Friends with tattoos and piercings. They were, needless to say, sympathetic. But the best part is that this one guy came up to us, and I didn't really know him very well, but he was this big guy, from the waaay deep south, who, I sweeear, wore bibbed denim overalls. So he comes up and - ok, it is really, really important that you read this with the greatest podunk, backwoods, hill-billy accent you can muster -he goes "Aaw girl? I heard! An I 'as thinkin'bout it. An I think me and Mikey here, we need'a go have us a chat with yer frien! 'Chat' means Mike's gonna hold'em down, an I'n gonna kick his ass (pronounced Aye-yass)!" And then he laughed like an inbred redneck while a little part of me fell in love...
And then everyone was like "What are you gonna do?"
Here is a sampling of some of the low-down-dirty-rotten things that I considered speaking on as a rebuttal to what I like to refer to as the anti-Jamie-hate-study:
Defining "the WORLD": Why India and Africa still count.
Social Economics: The Value of NOT being an Unrelateble Ass-hat.
Fashion IS a statement: and your spongy Reebok's are saying you have wicked hemorrhoids.
Out of Context: The Dangers of Using Scripture to Say what WE want, Rather Than what GOD wants. (Complete with out-of-context study guide showing why you are going to hell.)
Calvinism vs Arminianism: Are you, sir - in the Reebok's - yes you, are you totally depraved or only partially depraved? Let's take a vote.
101 Ways that Proverbs 11:22 has absolutely nothing to do with "nasal piercings", thankyouverymuch.
So, I guess it's kind of obvious why I couldn't use any of these ideas. You got it. It's cause "ass-hat" doesn't translate very well. So I had to take it a different direction...
No, the truth is, I spent a whole lot of time thinking about this and praying about it that week. And I didn't really know what to do. In the end, I decided not to pursue the idea of hurting, shaming, or otherwise embarrassing the guy. Instead, the morning of my assignment I scribbled out a very rough outline and went with the passage from Ezekiel 16, not because I wanted to prove anything, but because Ezekiel 16 1:14 is my story, and the rest is my warning.
I have been rescued, a starving and undesired child, from the fields of the compassionless. It was God who said to me "Live", and who grew me up. Who covered me with his own garment, and made me His. He cleaned me and salved my wounds. God put a crown on my head. It was Him who perfected any hope I ever had for beauty...
I don't wear a nose ring because I think it's cool. Although..ahem...it is. I wear a ring in my nose because the last thing I see before I close my eyes to pray is a tiny glint of sliver reminding me to whom I belong. We have a covenant, God and I. My nose ring reminds me not to be like Israel who betrayed Him with her beauty and made idols with His gifts, who was weak-willed, and unfaithful.
I wear a ring in my nose because God has given me his solid oath and He is jealous for me to keep it. I am His. I want to honor that. That's all. That's it.
It's not a very glamorous ending, is it?
But I played out all those scenarios in my head that week, all possible"You know what I'm gonna say?!" moments, and I finally remembered that I didn't give a rip what that guy thought of me. Balls to him! If he wants to use a Bible study as an opportunity to bash somebody, let him. I could not, in good conscience, do the same. So I just told my story. And I'm pretty sure God loved it...
Oh, I just have to tell you this, though; When I began speaking, the guy tipped his head back against the wall, took off his glasses and went to sleep, thereby missing out on one hell of a redemption tale. When he woke up (or pretended to wake up?) and everyone was crying and snotting all over the place - because that's what redemption stories do to people - he stretched and yawned and said, "Sorry about that... I just couldn't stay with you..." What did I tell you? Douche-canoe!