I flipped to Corinthians because it was my go-to “easy read.” Like Psalms and Proverbs. You know, it’s easy to swallow…nothing heavy like Ezekiel or Job or Leviticus, for Heaven’s sake. But I soon made it to this passage:
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1:27-29)
Whoa…ugh, choking here! I’m learning more and more that God is a paradox. I cannot, despite my most valiant efforts, understand Him. He is unpredictable and wild. I love Mr. Beaver’s insight in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: “He isn’t safe, but He’s good.”
I think Finn will understand these verses in 1 Corinthians better than I ever will because he has physical, actual, permanent weakness. His legs and feet just don’t work the way they should. Chances are, he’ll never walk. (Aside from his many other Spina Bifida-related health complications). For some reason God chooses weakness to “shame the strong.” I don’t believe for a second that Finn is privileged or morally superior because he has a disability. Or that able-bodied children/people should be “shamed.” Nonsense. These verses and Finn’s impairment simply make me re-evaluate what I believe strength to be. When I hold him close at night before releasing him to his crib, I pray Finn will be strong in ways that matter more than kicking or jumping or mountain biking (but I pray for those things too).
It seems the purpose for this upside-down way of evaluating wisdom, strength and validity is so that we cannot boast. Boasting is ugly…even our unspoken boasts. Verse 31 of the same chapter says if we boast, we should “boast in the Lord.” And 2 Corinthians chapter 12 allows us only to boast in our weakness. Well, that’s no fun. The weak things are the strong things. The foolish things are the wise things. The things that aren’t, are.