“Mommies and daddies always believe, That their little angels are special indeed, And you could grow up to be anything, But who would imagine a king,”
Who Would Imagine a King by Mervyn Warren, Whitney Houston Vocals.
Who would imagine a world where possibilities are endless, and asperation reigns supreme? This is a special place at the intersection of dreams, hopes, challenges, fears, and triumphs. This month of the year brings our frailty, flaws, forgiveness, and fortitude into clear focus. However, “who would imagine a King.”
The story is of a homeless family composed of an unwed expecting mother and a substitute “baby daddy.” They could just as easily have been mistaken for African, as the balance of their story would later force them to hide away there (Matthew 2:13–23). The family existed as the truly marginalized of any period of time.
Isabel Wilkerson says in her outstanding book entitled Caste. “Caste is insidious and therefore powerful because it is not hatred, it is not necessarily personal. It is the worn grooves of comforting routines and unthinking expectations, patterns of a social order that have been in place for so long that it looks like the natural order of things”
But who could, in their wildest imaginations, imagine a King.
At times, contrary to Ms. Wilkerson’s description, “groves of comforting routines” arise an anomaly. That of which confounds the status quo. The Incarnation, the Nativity, the Chrismas story of the last Adam is that anomaly that has forever confused world systems. The anomalies were all of those who survived the Middle Passage. The brave indigenous travelers of the trail of tears could also fit the description.
From every Latinx abused migrant or railroad worker, forever cast into the material or social barrio, to Chinatowns and Japtowns appearance in the west was an ugly racist segregationist result of the Gold Rush, among other patterns of the social order. Under this kind of darkness, “Who would dream of a King.”
“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” Hebrews 4:15-16 (MSG)
His very heartbeat, 60 to 90 times per minute, pushed blood inherited from those at the margins. Jesus’ blood, shed for humanity, flowed with the DNA of ancestors, Ruth of Moab, Rahab the harlot, and Bathsheba the adulteress Hittite. All were Hamitic women of color from Canaan: Palestinian, Lebanese, and Jordanian ethnicity of today. Those in the political and public spheres think that the faith community is a homogenous group that a few dog whistles and clichés can easily manipulate.
The actual body of Christ is a mystery. It was a great mystery to the world to see the Macedonian believers of many ethnicities overcome differences, come together as one, and follow Christ. It was stunning enough that the only way to describe this phenomenon was to call them Christians derogatorily. They displayed the independent out-of-the-box thinking that thrives rich within the Kingdom of God today, as it did for those first-century barrier breakers.
Harriot Tubman, Martin Luther King Nelson Mandela, Mother Jones, Cesario Estrada Chavez all carried the mantle of anomaly, the hidden Imago Dei of the marginalized that continuously confounds the status quo. “You can be anything” because you are created in His image. It may be through the middle passage, up the rough side of the mountain of racism, misogyny, classism, and the like, or even in a Manger in Swaddling Clothes because “who would imagine a King.”
By Kevin Robinson Founder, Editor/Publisher