The other day I attended the funeral of the granddaughter of an old pastor of mine. He is retired from the ministy and his son is the minister of a very large church. The young lady was only thirty years old and wife and mother of two children.
She had been stricken with cancer and was well aware of her impending death. As such she had requested that a certain specific person sing the Mr Ole version of "Over the Rainbow." When he told me he was to singing it I knew it would be, probably, the most beautiful thing he had ever done. I was right and this was also confirmed by the many tearful eyes and comments to him later by the many who had heard him perform so many times.
On the way home after the funeral I had time to reflect on the entire event. Here was man who had just taught so many about love and caring in a simple song. Truly,his knowlege of life was showing through. His perception of the meaning of the song was on the mark. And his enthusiastic presentation was awe inspiring.
I was not surprised. I expected nothing less from the man who was the worship leader who led me back to the Lord. He has no degree in theology, but can appropriately connect scripture to life's experiences. He has no degree in music,and yet, he is probably one of the most musical people I have ever met. He plays no instrument and he can still help me and others around him in how their instruments need to sound on any given occasion.
His knowlege comes from experience. If you listen to him you will learn. The problem is, who would listen to him. He is not wealthy or famous. He has not been acclaimed. He is just a man in a small town with a great deal of knowlege and no outlet.
This is where I think of Scarecrow in the "Wizard of Oz". He could think, reason, learn from observation, deduce and advise. Yet he did not feel he had the right to do these things because society had set up rules that he felt he had to follow. He finally received what he wanted because he had been in a situation to prove his worth. He acheived authority, gravitas and intellectual weight by being presented a diploma.
The diploma did'nt make him any smarter. Because of the rules of society, people would now be able to listen to him.
God's top scarecrow is Jesus Christ. He was born into the world to a not so prominent mother. He was taught in the trade of his mother's earthly husband. He was not selected for rabinical training as was the custom. He, therefore, was not recognized as someone who should be teaching God's Word.
People listened to Him anyhow. What a glorious turn of events. He shattered the rules of society and taught. He displayed wisdom beyond the ages and people heard. The miracle here is that wisdom overcame tradition.
There are millions of scarecrows all over the world. Surely, not on the level of Jesus, but wise and learned people. People who can do things, teach, guide, inspire and much more. They do not because society has set up rules to prevent them. Our schools cry out for teachers and think the only pool is young people fresh out of college with no experience but have teaching degrees. The diplomas did not make them smarter.
It is time we started seeking out and using the scarecrows. If we still want credentials, find out what they know and certify them. They are out there and they want to be of service.
The scarecrows have brains, if they only got a chance.
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