by Joel Lawler
Of all the political stuff that we have had to endure over the past few months there has been a bright spot for me. A guy was out playing catch with his son when a crowd began to form. It got bigger and bigger until he and his son no longer had enough room to keep playing. This man decided to go check out what was going on. Senator Obama had decided to stop his motorcade and was doing an impromptu town hall meeting.
As the microphone was being passed around, it found its way to him. Little did he know that his exchange with Obama would lead to him becoming the topic of the next night's presidential debate. He asked a very common question that threw the very polished politician off his game. He became known as "Joe the Plumber".
This was a highlight of this entire process because I think guys like Joe are the salt of the earth. Guys like him who put in long hours and work hard to provide for their families make the biggest contribution to society in a very quiet and understated way. They are the "doers" as opposed to the "talkers".
One of the things that I enjoy about meeting guys like Joe is shaking their hand. Their hands are rough with wear. Their calluses are hard earned.
I hope when I meet Jesus and shake his hand that he still has his carpenter hands. I love the fact that he was a carpenter prior to starting his ministry. He knew what a long day of hard labor was because he had put many of them in.
When I was a child, Jesus was often represented by a piece of felt. He was a little, two dimensional fuzzy thing that could be stuck on a felt board. There were also some felt sheep. I think they might have been extra pieces from another story. This was not very impressive.
As I got a little older, I remember seeing a movie about Jesus. He was an effeminate little guy with long flowing hair. He spoke with a bad English accent with far too many "thees" and "thous". Once again, hardly anyone I wanted anything to do with.
Then there was a painting that hung in our church. Jesus once again looked rather wimpy and quite pasty. I could not figure out all the fuss about this guy. He hardly seemed like the type of guy that anyone would want to know.
Jesus started his ministry when he was thirty years old. He had worked as a carpenter in his father's business up until he left to do what God called him to do. He left it all behind and traveled by foot from town to town. Where he traveled, was some pretty rough terrain and the climate was also challenging.
When Jesus was approached by someone about becoming one of his followers, Jesus let him know that it was not going to be an easy life. He did not have money to stay in Inns. He and his followers slept under the stars. These guys were rugged outdoorsmen. The truth paints Jesus in a way that I find very relatable. This is the opposite of the images that have been associated with him in the past. The elitists have a problem with Joe the plumber. They dug up all the dirt they could in order to belittle him. They don't get him. The politicians and religious leaders of Jesus' day had the same reaction. They could not understand how someone who seemed so common could be the son of God.