By Alex Florez
O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.
I met an interesting man at a party recently. I call him “Papa Chubs.” He’s not a Christ follower, but during our time together, I could see God’s fingerprints all over this guy. I just didn’t see it right away.
At a gathering where most of us looked like we stepped out of a photo shoot for a preppy-clothing catalog, Papa Chubs looked like an extra from a biker gang movie. To make him even more interesting, he spoke like a professional DeNiro impersonator. Imagine Easy Rider meets Goodfellas. You’re likely a better person than I am, so you would have been less judgmental of him, but I definitely sized him up as a potential menace to society based on his appearance alone.
Fortunately, I got to talk to him for a while and discover what a gentle, kind man he is. I quickly learned that he was as friendly, loving, and tender as I could ever hope to be myself. We talked about family, work, music, heartbreak, and he even allowed me to tell him a little bit about Jesus. It was one of the most enjoyable conversations I’ve had all year.
The time I spent with Papa Chubs reminded me that the differences between most people are confined to the surface. Deep down, we all have the same desire for love and acceptance, a shared longing for peace, and a yearning to belong. Perhaps we look like we hail from completely different nations, but we have this in common: as people made in the image of God, we long for the acceptance only our Maker can provide. He used different words to express it, but everything Papa Chubs said to me communicated the very thing my heart longs for: the presence and peace of God in the person of Jesus.
This conversation got me so excited about what King Jesus’s reign means for us as we submit to His authority. This is a King who charged into the middle of the fray to confront the enemy and paid for victory with His own life. Not only that, but King Jesus emerged from the tomb, risen and alive, eager to bequeath to His subjects the very power with which He vanquished death once and for all. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). To have our freedom paid for at such a dear price and to live to see our offenses fully pardoned—this is a treasure more valuable than the storehouses of Solomon, Croesus, and Midas combined.
This is the King I await. He comes in search of earnest hearts more than He comes for people who fit a particular external mold, and this energizes me all the more to lend my voice to the fanfare of His arrival.