Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Kingdom of Uetulas

When I first became a Christian, I met a woman named Prayer. She blessed my life. Prayer had been a prostitute and drug addict for nearly two decades. She dropped out of high school around the age of fifteen, when she had her first child. 

She met Jesus in the jail (which I hear is a great place to find him). She met her husband soon after, who had a similar story. The two are now dedicated to each other, their children, and their ministry with great passion. Prayer works at a fast food chicken place and preaches God’s word, pretty much whenever she can.

Prayer doesn’t come from a good family. She is not rich, white, seminary trained, or educated. She doesn’t have any of the stuff that often gives people a leg up in our cut - throat world, but she is one of the most brilliant and gifted teachers, preachers, and theologians I know. She could preach for hours and her ability to communicate really profound, complex truths greatly shaped me and many others.

So what makes someone like Prayer so theologically advanced? Theologian Thomas Aquinas
Saint Thomas Aquinas
explained this phenomenon with the Uetula principle, referring to a brilliant widow he knew. Uetula was as theologically astute, if not, more so, than himself and that’s really saying something. He argued that those who have just a little Holy Spirit knowledge have wisdom that can surpass even the greatest, most erudite, learned theologian or scholar among us.

Karl Barth, possibly the most brilliant theologian I’ve read, at the end of his career stated that he had learned one small truth, “Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible, tells me so.” This means there are three and four year olds are right up there with him - soaring the same theological plane. Truly, God not only uses the wisdom of the foolish to shame the wise, but he gives his wisdom and gifts so freely and graciously, and often, to people who are overlooked or looked down upon. People who are much like himself, “meek and lowly of heart.”

In the course of our walk with God, my husband, Bo, and I, the supposed “teachers” have been taught, led, and discipled by some surprising people - children, addicts, high school drop outs, the elderly – you name it. We often hear, “we’ll you would know better. You were seminary trained.” I have seen great stalwarts in the faith, with marked-up Bibles, withered from years of being read, ask my husband the ordained minister, what he thinks. He often replies, “What do you think?” and here’s something not all shocking, they already possessed the truth.

I write this little post for anyone who feels like a theological dummy. Who stops themselves from sharing their wonderful ideas with others, because they might not be “smart” ideas. Who says stuff like, “what do I know, I’m just a…” I hear this all the time and you know so much more than you think and it’s your humility as a Christian that best qualifies you to preach God’s word through thought and deed. God bless all the Uetulas, they give such flavor and salt to God’s rich Kingdom.

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