Mark 1:6

John wore clothes made of camels’ hair, with a leather strap around his waist, and lived on locusts and wild honey;


describing behavior
implies interiority
revealed

 
with camel clothes
leather belt and
locusts eaten
with uncommoditized honey
we are brought up short
we can’t avert our eyes

people might journey
an easy way down
to see a buttoned-down preacher
in a splendiferous setting
but a quick dip
to sustain a difficult climb
puts this beginning
in as untenable spot
as its ending

Baptizer John
didn’t pull punches
with his outside
non-conformed dress
or his inside
pro-prophetic sustenance
which all-in-all
is attractive and
repellent

come for the latest spectacle
come for a needed meme
renew


We are what we eat. Likewise we dress our social location, even when our dressing down evidences our ability to dress up—note pre-distressed jeans.

In both instances we model our understanding of our standing. There is a look to a prophet and another to a profiteer. Wisdom in the world’s way requires a keen sense of style to know where real power and weakness lie.

Would people have willingly gone to see a successful trader ultimately incapable of being a traitor to all that brought them success?

Perhaps for a while. However the parade would end as internal dissonance cannot last without being seen as the crazy place it is.

Eventually, though, not even a style congruent with a message can carry the day. John is not Elijah. A messenger is not needed for Prophet Jesus. He stands on his own. John is not his clothes or his food. Similarly confession, forgiveness, and repentance are not sufficient to precede or follow an act of baptism. These works are too small for a changed heart and do not carry sufficient energy for a life out of sync with its time.

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