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Perspectives

I moved recently and changed my voter registration to my new precinct, but I’ll miss the old one. For years, I voted in the gym/multi-purpose room of a church. I always enjoyed the sight of a long line of voters snaking through a church’s gym. Church and state got along just fine, for once.

There was a mural on the wall, a picture of the cross on Christ. Not Christ on the cross, but the cross on Him. He’s depicted lying beneath it, struggling to raise it and carry it. The perspective is drastically foreshortened, so the cross is massive. It makes me think about His humanity, His human limitations. He only had human shoulders, and that’s an aspect of Jesus that I don’t consider often enough.

For me, seeing a familiar subject from a new perspective is like turning jeans inside out and shaking them for the quarters in the pockets. Try it with the parable of the prodigal son, for instance. Modern usage of the word “prodigal” seems to be drifting toward treating it as a synonym for “runaway,” but the original meaning implies extravagance, free spending, foolish giving—and that describes the father’s actions as well as the son’s. Maybe we should call it the parable of the Prodigal Father.

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