I looked into the eyes of a man in a photo this morning. He is an esteemed leader in a mega-church. Thousands of people love his teachings of the Bible, and they respect his rank of Senior Pastor within the church.
“Senior Pastor” is a title that the world has crafted up based on our merit system. Nothing to do with the Bible, but that’s typical within churches these days. One could say that this man is an, “Elder,” but someone decided that Senior Pastor is a better title.
I suppose I should look at this man and see someone who is of more importance; someone that has more than the rest, or a man that is somehow better than you or I….
Yesterday morning, I had found an old bicycle and was on my way to dispose of it. It was in pretty poor condition, but I suppose it could have been reconditioned. While tending to some business in a run-down part of a nearby city, a man on a bicycle approached me. He saw the bike I had on my trailer, and he asked me if I was getting rid of it.
I gave him the bike. He was very thankful. It was good to see that my trash was another man’s treasure.
You see, it is good to feel the power of equality. I’ve never been one to think that rank means that someone has an ability to put their pants on in a different manner than I do–one leg at a time. As I gazed into the eyes of the esteemed church man this morning, I literally saw the hundreds of thousands of dollars that he earns for his, “services,” for it was revealing within the eyes and polished smile. I also read more interesting facts about him, padding my conclusion. But, whatever. Many are full of themselves and use the Lord to justify their unfortunate truths.
I didn’t see the eyes of the man who’d asked for the bike. Maybe briefly? I didn’t see the smile. I quickly recognized his shame. I saw his pain. I saw the tattered pieces of him. I picked up on the real experiences of most that I know. I saw a guy with much less than I, and much less than the hundreds of thousands the Senior Pastor earns (also, not Biblical).
I thank the Lord for real experiences with others who call me bro, because we both see that we are not ranked. We see that we are humans, just trying to make it in a world of merit and rank.