I have a pair of tennis shoes from No Sweat Apparel that I really like--sweatshop-free, fair-trade--and they resemble a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor's (I always wanted a pair of those shoes, and then I saw I, Robot and remembered how much I wanted a pair...). By all appearances, these are a good pair of shoes. Stylish, cool, comfortable. I wear them all the time.
If, however, you should look at the bottom of my shoes, you will see that I've completely worn through the soles. If I walk through puddles or even dew-y grass, my socks get soaked immediately. I really should just get a new pair, but these feel soooooo good.
In suburbia, we are addicted to looks. We want cars and houses and people and kids that look good. On the house with peeling paint and an overgrown lawn, on the kid with tattoos and piercings, on the beat-up car with rust, we often look with disdain. And we judge.
"Christians" are the worst at this. We are the quickest to judge others by external appearances.
"Accept one another, just as Jesus accepted you," Paul writes. Holes and all, I'm accepted.
Elvis came to church on Sunday. Right after the greeting time, as I'm singing, in he walks, finding a seat in the chairs in the back. Following worship, I went to say "hi" and strike up a conversation. I introduced myself and extended my hand. "Elvis," he said, "people call me Elvis." I smiled and replied, "I thought you look familiar!" Try as I might, I couldn't get another name from him. His life is that of impersonating another.
Jesus invited all people to live his life. He never promised it would be easy, but he promised it would be good.
We all have holes in our souls; too often these are the holes that other people quickly see, take advantage of, and walk all over.
Our soles should tread lightly, for all souls are holy ground.
PS--I'll try and get a picture of my shoes for your viewing pleasure.