My friend’s blog is always so inspiring.
“Matthew chapter 22.
The well-known story of Jesus outsmarting the Pharisees goes like this:
“Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.”
So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is on this?”
They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
And He to them, “Render therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
The story always ended there for me. Jesus whipped the Pharisees with some intellectual p-ownage and they went away scratching their heads while I, standing beside Jesus like an eager sidekick, held my head up, threw my hands in the air ceremoniously and repeated, “What, whaaaaat!” to their backs as they walk away. But that wasn’t the end. Jesus had more to say after answering their question, “[Render] to God the things that are God’s.”
So, what things are God’s?
. . .
Well, whose image and inscription are on you?
If there’s one lesson that I’m continually learning on this Race, even now, to the bitter end, is who I really am. The quest to discover one’s self is a lifelong one that most never complete. We need help. We need personality tests, we need categories in which to archive our quirks or to explain why we are the way that we are. We need family trees and genetic patterns. We need zodiacs and blood types. We need names other than our own. We need geography. We need people around us to be our mirrors. Everyone is trying to tell us who we are. Why? Because we haven’t a clue ourselves.
But we should know, because it’s written into the timeline of this universe. The truth is buried with the genesis of the world, crowded out by psychology, sociology, biology, philosophy, whateverology. When you’re told that you’re made in the image of God and in the image of your Creator, do you believe it? This is what it all boils down to. Because if you do believe it, then you also acquiesce to the belief that created life has intrinsic value. If you don’t believe it, then life has no value. You’re nothing but a haphazard product. You have no gifts. You contribute nothing. Because an impersonal creation only breeds impersonal and indifferent worth in the created. BUT, a personal creation breeds personal and intimate worth in the created.
I can guarantee that my Race has been different from everyone else’s, because they don’t account for people like me. I’ve lived out 11 months of being completely misunderstood. And the more I’m misunderstood, the more I’m pushed into asking my Creator for understanding. Eleven months of trying to claw my way out of the suffocating label of being from China. 11 months of stunned silence as I watch people stretch their eyes thin to illustrate their perception of what I look like and to ask me to explain myself. 11 months of kids and people on the street mimicking what they believe spoken Chinese sounds like. 11 months of that sick-to-my-gut feeling and that obnoxious screaming doubt, “Was I really created by God, or was I created by two people with small eyes?” When your worth is deduced to explanations of what you look like rather than your value in your creation, you want to curl up and hide.
I’m tired of having to explain myself. I want to give a person my name, and have that be the end of it. I’m tired of the hurt that comes with wanting to disappear. I’m tired of people telling me that this is just how the world is. I’m tired of people telling me to ignore it, and, even, embrace it. While it’s true that it’s difficult for a homogenous culture to understand the concept of stereotypes, prejudice, and racism, it by no means makes it acceptable, and it took this long for me to realize that. Sobbing from the confusion of who I was, I myself acquiesced to being defined by what everyone was saying about me.
Render to God the things that are God’s.
Whose image is on you?
Render yourself to Him, because it’s only in His definition that we find wholeness, completeness, and it’s in Him that we find who we truly are.”