Love me or Hate me, Take me or Leave me
Kristopher S. Shoemaker
R. Yehudah “Tochukwu” ben Shomeyr
Guess I was born to be an outcast and that’s okay. I wouldn’t change that for anything. Even with all the negativity and criticism coming at me from multiple fronts, from secular, Christian, Jewish and Messianic circles. Persecution from secular sources is a given, Yeshua said we would be hated, so when I get the business from the world it doesn’t really bother me. Even as a Christian I was different from the majority and I grew a though skin real quick and learned to stand up for myself against the Protestant Evangelicals. As a Messianic I pretty much walked the line, became a Rabbi and tried to meet the demands of expression projected upon me from the community, but honestly, though I was happy in the Torah and happy in Messiah I was miserable in the community and wanted to erase the first decade I began my Messianic walk. I felt all eyes upon me and the demand to meet the various expectations unspoken, yet nonetheless put upon me by the community. Hiding the real me, editing and doctoring my online posts and photos, being a downright poser, just to make others happy and keep me from a repeat of the confrontations and grief I experienced in Christianity.
Then I just got tired of denying and supressing who God created and called me to be. I took a risk and posted one of my tattoos on social media and quickly discovered who my real friends and family were and who the Messianic Pharisees with stones were in hand, cocked and ready to throw. At least I got to clean up my “friends” list.
Some concerned brothers and sisters saw my tats, 6 gauge holes in my lobes and my friendly mutton chops and after dispelling the supposed Torah prohibitions against such things (http://www.abrahamsdescendants.com/tattoos.html) others said that it’s not what Yeshua would do, so they wouldn’t do it and advise that I shouldn’t do it.
Yeah, likely so, but I’m not Yeshua. I mean, I get the whole, “What would Jesus do?” or “Do what Yeshua Did” thing, sure, that’s talking about Torah Obedience. I take no issue with that, I’m down with that. But on the human side of Messiah Yeshua, He had a personality with character, tastes, and preferences and so, would Yeshua wear a Rolex? Likely not, but that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Would Yeshua marry a pagan temple prostitute and have children by her like the Prophet Hosea did and was actually called by God to do? Or would He walk about naked for days as one of the other prophets had done? No, because He wasn’t called to do those things. Would He get inked or piercings? Probably not, not because it was “wrong” per se, but because that wasn’t His personality type or calling. We’re all of YHWH’s, we’re all disciples of Messiah Yeshua but we’re not all called to have the same personality, likes or dislikes. We’re not all called to reach and minister to the same group, culture or community. Not everyone can reach a redneck; I know I couldn’t, at least not very effectively. Not everyone can reach a gangbanger, you got me there too, but I can reach those sporting tattoos and piercings and into hard music. I can even reach sci-fi and comic book geeks because I am one. But not everyone, due to personality, likes and dislikes is equipped and can reach who I can reach and vice versa. That’s okay; it’s supposed to be that way. God doesn’t expect us to all be carbon copies of one another or be robots. The universal command of Torah and the Moral Absolutes have enough wiggle room for all of us to be our God ordained and uniquely called selves (I Cor. 9:19-23).
There was a time I doubted if I should have my ears pierced. Twice this happened to me, as Torah says by two or three witnesses let everything be established. I lost a screw on ball to one of my earrings and was unable to wear it. It’s such a tiny piece of metal and if you do not see where it falls it’s nearly impossible to find it. Both times this happened to me. Once while in Kentucky and leaving the next day for Ohio. I prayed, “LORD, if it be Your will let me find that ball to my earring.” I searched and searched but didn’t find it and forgot about it. Went to Ohio came back to Kentucky and found it in an inflatable mattress I deflated and took with me there and back! What are the odds!? Transported and lugged around two states and never lost or dropped it in all that moving around. It was safe in the folds of the deflated mattress! Second time I was at my sister’s house and lost it, the day I would pack up and go to my nephew’s house. I prayed then too. Well, I found it when I got to my nephews, somewhere in the bundle of my clothes. This taught me that God cares about the smallest details of your life and confirms your calling and personality.
So take me or leave me, love me or hate me, I’m going to unapologetically be who God has called and created me to be despite what others may say or think. I refuse to be a people pleaser and do what others expect me to do. Life’s way too short to deny who you are and be miserable.