The phrase “hot mess” is a quintessential part of my vernacular. I use it to describe myself, and see it in the world all around me. I do not use it to be derogatory, but to emphasize the natural state of humanity which drifts towards this synchronization of disaster and survival. Despite our sinful state, we manage to survive, and even thrive. There is beauty in every single human being. It directs us back to the divine image in which we were created: the image of God Almighty. In spite of our problems and issues, we are marvelously created and loved by God, and so God is at work here and now redeeming us from that which would threaten to destroy us. God is blessing us. Let us remember that and bless one another.
The glory of grace is that it seeks to move us from a state of sin to holiness, but it honors the individuality and uniqueness of all of us. God is not trying to make us all the same visually, verbally, physically, or even emotionally. We reflect the multiplicity of a God that felt that God could most fully reveal God’s self in the three persons of the Trinity. The Body of Christ should be as varied and reflective of this divine truth. We should be open and accepting of difference in appearance. We should see our divergence from one another as expression of the fullness of humanity. God bless those who dress all in black, those who embrace color and lots of it, and those who prefer the neutral color palette. God bless those who look like chaos walking and those who are perfectly put together. God bless those who express themselves with body art, piercings, and adornment, as well as those who keep their person pure. God bless every hot mess with holiness.
When we look at those who appear different from us and interact with them based upon our preference for it, then we dishonor the work of God within them. God encounters are expressed in a plethora of ways. Some are internal while others are external and very apparent. Jacob’s encounter left him with a physical scar and a pronounced limp. Moses left him with a face that shone to the point that he wore a veil. If someone wants to use permanent ink or a piercing, then who am I to judge? Perhaps it is their testimony, their witness to compel conversation. I am far less concerned with what you look like than how you act, reflecting the love and grace of Jesus Christ. For that there is no dress code, save clothing ourselves in righteousness. Righteousness comes in every shape and size, every color and cut. It is individually crafted by God for the person. Just because my righteousness is visually different from yours does not mean that one is better than another. I see people who are as colorful as the peacock, and others who are as plain as the white lily. They are both of God, and both precious in God’s sight. It is time that all this diversity became precious in ours. Otherwise, we threaten to take holiness and condemn it as irredeemable hot mess.