I am not at all sure that I would want to meet John the Baptist, on a dark street, mid December, downtown Belfast, (or any other city to be honest). According to Mark’s Gospel (The Message), he wore a “camel-hair habit” and “ate locusts and wild field honey”, which might be on trend these days food wise but personally speaking I would give him a wide berth if at all possible on a dark wet night outside The Crown Bar.
The kind of man (or woman) who is…
“A bit ‘needy'”.
or as my teenage son used to say…
“A randomer”. (Still not sure what that means but I get the gist).
We need to find labels for folk who do not quite fit don’t we? Usually labels that do not in any way accurately represent the person as a whole, rather their looks, actions, indeed statements that make “us” uncomfortable.
And John the Baptist made the people of his day uncomfortable…
By how he looked.
By where he lived, (the wilderness Mark Chapter 1 v 4),
By how he lived.
By what and who he pointed too.
John the Baptist may well have been the “sideshow” announcing that someday the Messiah, the Saviour of world was about to arrive but he had and has an important message.
Often those deemed a “Sideshow”, “Left field”, “Out there”, “Needy”, “Random” have in so many uncomfortable ways a handle on truth and right living that might escape the majority.
Sometimes, maybe more often than I (or we) care to admit, the call of the “other” is about a call to a changed life, indeed a new path.
And John the Baptist could not but help himself but point to the One coming after him, Christ Jesus, who is “The Way, Truth and Life” for those who embrace this (at times) uncomfortable journey.
There are times when what is deemed “other” speaks and points to what is true, real, tangible.
Picture courtesy of @savbrown