I work in a profane office.
There is a lot of cursing.
In the office and in the secular world in general, I often refer to myself as a person of faith, rather than as a Christian. In part, to not project my profane cynicism as representative of Christianity. And also to distance myself from those who claim the name of Christian, but who are even worse examples of a Christian than I am — bigots, charlatans, and hypocrites.
My personal goal is to not be the first person to curse each day. It’s an easy goal to reach; around 90 percent of the office curses and uses R-rated language regularly. Our language is also rich in sarcasm and cynicism. We’re just short of a Quentin Tarantino movie.
My co-workers and I have careers in reporting, design, video production, editing and writing, and we curse a lot. (Only one of us uses the Oxford comma.)
We are a small communications office in a large organization.
All of the men in our office have beards, all but one are bespectacled. One cuts his own hair with a Flowbee. Several of us, male and female, regularly look like we just woke up and rolled into the office. There are no ties and only occasionally dresses.
My office won awards recently for work that I did.
Sporting the tattoos and language of longshoremen, we cleaned up just fine, but we didn’t look like most of the people in attendance — styled hair, sharp suits, stylish dresses, skinny legs and outgoing personalities.And yet we are good enough to receive awards, winning in all the categories we entered.
We are judged on the content and quality of our work, and not the words we use.
Unfortunately, too often the world hears us when we curse and often judges our words, and not the content of our hearts.
But like the anonymous judges who gave our office awards, God looks at us and sees us authentically.
God looks beyond the suit and tie, the hairstyle, the make-up, the jewelry. God sees past the words in our mouths and searches our hearts.
Scripture tells us to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we might find the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
God can help us be more than we were. God can help us grow into new, better people. God can help us transform ourselves.
God loves and accepts us just as we are, profane or chaste.
In our darkest times, cursing like dock workers, angry at the world and feeling separated from God, God remains. God is with us.
God is with you. In your most profane moment, God is there, striving to draw you near, to comfort and strengthen you. When you feel separated from others or even from yourself, God is there.
God is with you.
God is with you.
Thanks be to God.