The subtitle of Mike Sares’s book, Pure Scum: The Left-Out, the Right-Brained, and the Grace of God, about the Scum of the Earth Church says a lot about the unconventional people who are its members.
Mike wrote a chapter about artists. He included the story of his decision whether to allow a young woman to read a particular poem for a Christmas Eve service. It quoted a troubled delinquent boy and contained the “F-bomb”.
Quoting various lines from the poem in Pure Scum, Mike showed how emotionally raw and how God-with-us it was. It spoke mightily to several jaded-by-church visitors.
Mike’s point – and mine – is that the Church needs artists’ visions of not only the light but also what the light exposes. That can get uncomfortably raw, unseemly…real.
I wish my local church to become a center for artistic endeavors. To do that, we will have to become open to the ugly, smelly world of unsavory people. We will have to expose ourselves and our children to the realities of raw emotions and attitudes, to acknowledge unseemly desires, to hearing the “F-bomb”. Roses do have thorns but still smell just as sweet.