If a director were to cast the role of a revolutionary,
they would begin with characteristics that the camera understands.
Perhaps a broad-shouldered reluctant, with a muscular posture and a kind but graveled voice.
He mustn’t be chubby, lest he be comical (or worse, pathetic), and he mustn’t be scrawny, lest he lack command.
He mustn’t be old, lest he appear lackluster or impotent, and he mustn’t be young, lest his naiveté call up our contempt.
And above all, he mustn’t be ugly, lest women reject him.
Perhaps the typecast is even more damning if a woman is called.
Unless she be trim and witty, with straight teeth, perfect breasts (which, incidentally, we see just enough of at all times) and the exactly right amount of disdain for authority, our vision is sunk before it is even launched.
When it comes to powerful women, we know what we want to see.
We all know that revolutionaries are nothing if not believable.
So first the hero is cast, so that the eye will buy.
And then Costuming assists, equipping him with the right recipe of leather and metal, cut to emphasize strength and humanity.
Makeup adds a statement tattoo for intimidation and paints a haunted, creased demeanor. Scars are constructed to stimulate our compassion and make us curious.
Because revolutionaries, as we all know, come to us damaged, mysterious and inaccessible.
It is easily formulaic, and sold to us over and over.
We buy. Over and over
until we no longer recognize the true revolutionaries when we meet them.
But the persistent market for the tale shows us with perfect evidence: we ache to truly join the revolutionary. Given the right cause, we would commit to the death.
And we have met them. And they far exceed the script we have been sold. I was convinced of this again today, as I spoke with them on the phone or stood in their presence.
Lest you mistrust me, I am not assigning the title of Revolutionary lightly, and these ones I write of would prefer I not assign it at all. They have submitted themselves the place of the lowest servant, quite simply spending their entire energies on loving–without regard to sin, wealth, religion or position. A posture such as this is endlessly challenged, even outright engaged, for there is not a world structure in existence that will survive it. Without rank and title, how we will know who is unimportant? The opposition to them would seem insurmountable–were it not for the gleeful awareness that it has already been defeated.
But who would dare to elevate the least? Who would willingly spend themselves entirely upon people who are without power, without consequence, without influence, without importance? Who are they who actually see the marginalized, much less value and honor them? Who would repeatedly sow where fruit continues to resist? This seems not the work of revolution, but of insanity.
Surely there exists some sort of end, in which this sort of foolish demonstration culminates in common sense that knows office hours?
No. Among these revolutionaries, love never fails.
And so every single day, wherever the feet of these fathers and mothers fall (for indeed, there is not one they fail to adopt), the boundaries of fear that would try to control or measure love are relentlessly conquered. Among these ones, one standard exists: Jesus.
Perfect love is truly casting out fear–first from within the very hearts of these revolutionary lovers, and then in the tremor of their steps among us. First from hearts, and then from the very earth itself. Everywhere they go, orphans are dug from the wreckage.
These are the real revolutionaries. Every word they speak is Spirit and life. They defy damage and scars of their pasts by walking in Living Health Himself. They forsake their boundaries with loving, guarded hearts. They resent any idea that mystery persists, knowing their Father happily reveals every secret. They are so accessible that no one seems to notice when they have gone days and weeks without sleep. From their core, despite every expense, it emanates: let them come to Him in me!
And the world, true to the echo and shadow of Jesus in these places, is changing. Just as Jesus always said that it would. With love like this on the move, how could it not?
I honor you today, with a broken conviction of the price you pay. I stand as one entirely changed by your example. They told me of Jesus, but you personally introduced me to Him.
You lead us, across generation and gender and nationality, by example, into true and incredible restoration; you are revolutionaries. I am heavily convicted by how the Lord so deeply loves and honors you. May we see you so clearly as to know: the highest, purest honor we could pay to a revolutionary is to join him.