Dirty glory. For the longest time, I have found myself pondering the beauty of it. In fact, I have stepped into a much deeper hunger to pursue God’s glory in the murky places of life. With joy and eagerness that has previously escaped me. Because let’s face it, our flesh often resists the thought of seeking the majesty of God in the mess of my everyday world right? In the uncomfortable. The awkward. In the seemingly sinful. Within the miserable. And inconvenient, unconventional places of our lives and the lives around us. Yet my Spirit continuously beckons me towards the grimy yet glorious adventure of experiencing God’s majesty in the darkness. In the fractured, sin-drenched, dysfunctional facets of my world.
Glory Reserved For Darkness
You see, these broken but beautiful places, that are part of the fabric of our lives, our communities, and cultures, hide within them realms of God’s glory reserved only for the darkness. Unconventional divine opportunities are tucked away, inconspicuously covered by ugliness and inconvenience. In often shunned places of our world. Yet I find myself longing to meet God right there. So that I may see His beauty majestically radiate in the dark, fractured, often awkward facets of our lives.
He Moved Into The Neighbourhood
“The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” (John 1:14 MSG)
Lately, I have pondered, what would happen if I truly understood the truth that 2000 years ago, glorious Jesus, with His one-of-a-kind glory, moved into my neighborhood. Into the fractured world around me. And He never left. He’s still right here. His Spirit is brooding above and around my broken world. Around my neighborhood. Over my city. In every different realm of society in this broken, fragile, seemingly godless culture. Amongst the homeless. In the strip clubs. He’s brooding over the darkness. Over the chaos. What if I eagerly, intentionally, reverentially, and filled with childlike wonder, met Him there???
The ugly, uncomfortable, and inconvenient places
And so here I am, intentionally seeking God’s glory in the unconventional places of my world. These are the worldly, sinful, awkward, politically challenged places of my world. The ugly, uncomfortable, and inconvenient places that my flesh would rather avoid but my spirit is longing anew to see God’s glory in them. In the grime, dirt, and complexities of life – seeking His glory, like never before.
Yet if truth be told, in my own natural strength my flesh often wins against my spirit in my desire to meet God in the murkiness of life. Far too often my flesh would rather stay in the comfort zone. Surrounded by niceties, convenience, peace, and pleasure. But I have come to discover that it is in the darkness that God’s glory shines brightest still. Jesus Christ – the Light of the World – knew that more than anyone, didn’t He? And He was our greatest example of letting majesty and glory radiate out of life’s darkest places. Not least when He hung on the cross. But on a daily basis, as He reached out to the outcasts, the marginalized, the leperous, the sick, the demonized when hanging out with prostitutes and dining with tax collectors.
Beholding His Beauty
But this is the very point, isn’t it? Because our own mercy is so limited. And if we were as compassionate as Jesus in our own strength, then we’d want to take the glory for it, wouldn’t we? I’m so sure I would. The truth is, that we are only equipped to behold the beauty found in the darkness when we first live a life of beholding the delightful loveliness of Jesus. When we become transformed by His beauty and led by His Spirit. Only then can we truly radiate God’s glory in the darkest of places as a lifestyle.
“And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever-increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP)
Permission To Dazzle
Glory far beyond our imagination is revealed in the inconvenient, ugly, sinful, broken places of this fragile, messed-up world. Now, it would obviously be far neater, easier, more comfortable, and less awkward if it wasn’t. I know. But then we would never have had Calvary. This is the greatest example of unconventional beauty, majesty, splendor, and glory, found in the ugly places of broken humanity. And as long as we are willing to be found in the darkness, gazing in wonder and awe at His beautiful face, then He has the permission to dazzle His glory through us. To truly abide in our neighborhood as He intends. Brilliantly displaying His glory in the dirtiest places of our fragile humanity. Demonstrating His love and beauty, through our very own broken, messy, and often ugly lives.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Read the extended version of this blog post by Bobbi Kumari here.
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