She wore a little too much make-up. Her hair was tussled from more than a few bad nights of living on the city streets. And you can bet her clothes weren't the kind that made her welcome in the finer restaurants and uptown subdivisions. But when it came to crying at the feet of Jesus, she was the first to admit she was nothing, and cover His feet with kisses.
He talked way too loud and bragged like, well, a fisherman. He probably didn't get too wrapped up in trying to look his best. And he had a bad habit of being full of himself, and not trying to hide the fact. The first to speak, the first to act, and he made sure you knew it.
The prostitute. Peter. Both show us the very human face of missions. They were plain, ordinary, average. Nothing to make them special. Nothing, that is, except that Christ looked on them and chose them as His tools.
It's amazing how He works that way. Using the ordinary to reach the ordinary. If casting the roles were left up to us, we'd probably film The Life of the Apostle Peter starring Brad Pitt and featuring Neve Campbell as the prostitute who wept at Jesus' feet. But the truth is far less exciting. In truth, Peter was probably no different than the mechanic who changes the oil down at Jiffy Lube, and the prostitute from Luke was closer to what you see on the news than what Julia Roberts played in Pretty Woman.
And yet God chose them.
Isn't it great? How many other ordinary faces are out there, all over the world, waiting for God to touch them, to bring the extraordinary grace of God down to the plain, ordinary place of ... well, us? And how many ordinary faces is God using everyday -- people who will never have their stories adapted for the big screen, people will live and love and put Christ's commands into action and never get a single minute of coverage from Entertainment Tonight or Nightline?
All because they're too ... ordinary.
God has chosen the weak and plain and, yes, even the ordinary to show up the strong and striking and, yes, even the extraordinary. That's the way He has always worked, and I don't expect Him to change his tactics anytime soon.
I hope not, because weakness and poverty is all I really have to offer, if I'm honest with myself.