Matt and I were sitting in church a few Sundays back, and there was a special dance presentation. One of the dancers was wearing these holey (not to be confused with “holy”) jeans where the denim was shredded all the way up her thigh. There was nothing overtly inappropriate about what she was wearing, but I thought to myself, “Oh, I bet the church is going to receive some ‘concerned’ emails about this!”
See, I wasn’t raised in the church, so traditional church standards, culture, and etiquette are not things I really knew about for a long time. I met Jesus through Young Life in high school, which is a “come as you are” ministry, so those are things I’ve never really considered much in my own faith.
But now that I’ve been around the church world for many years, I know that subjects like dancing, drinking, women teaching, and holey jeans are just a few of the many things that can ruffle feathers, depending on who you talk to.
My next thought watching that dancer was this: The very thing that “concerns” one person could be the very thing that connects with someone else.
Those holes in her jeans may speak to someone in the congregation and let them know that Jesus loves you regardless of what you wear. Someone in the audience may see themselves in that dancer and get to see God in a way they never had before. In that sense, those holey jeans can actually be used to connect people to Jesus. God can use something holey, messy, or imperfect for something holy.
What if we thought about that in all aspects of our lives? What if we considered that there was more than one right way to do things? What if we entertained the idea that our way was not the only way?
Even Jesus used unconventional ways to teach, heal, and fulfill His mission. For example, in scripture we see a few different ways He would heal the blind. In one instance He used only words, in another He used His spit, and in yet another He used mud. Can you just imagine the healed arguing over which way was the right way to heal the blind based on their experience?
“No, He heals through mud!”
“No, he does not! He heals by speaking!”
Their way was not the only way. And the same is still true today.
So next time you’re tempted to judge someone else’s marriage, parenting, business, decisions, or holey jeans, remember: The thing that “concerns” you could be the very thing that connects with someone else.