Lil Wayne and Jesus

The Washington Post reported today that rapper Lil Wayne said, in a Rolling Stone interview, that he had read the Bible for the first time in prison.  Lil Wayne spent time at Rikers Island for an illegal weapon possession.

He said, “I also read the Bible for the first time. It was deep! I liked the parts where some character was once this, but he ended up being that. Like he’d be dissing Jesus, and then he ends up being a saint. That was cool.”

“Some character was once this, but he ended up being that.”  Isn’t that the best summary of the gospel you’ve ever heard?  The best summary of the power vs. the talk?

I taught a group of cool women yesterday on the calling of Levi (Matthew) and we mused about what it was in Levi’s story that took him from his chosen profession of tax collector in the port of Capernaum in Galilee (basically extorting people and doing Rome’s dirty work) to jumping up and following Jesus.  Levi was once “this” but he ended up being “that.”

Or Paul.  He was Saul, persecutor of Christians par excellence, and he became super-apostle after an encounter with Jesus.  He was once “this” but he ended up being “that.”

Or the woman who bled for 12 years and spent all she had on trying to be healed, but then was miraculously healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment.  She was once “this” (outcast, not touched for 12 years) but ended up being “that” (healed, accepted, included).

People who dis Jesus really can end up saints.  People who are “this” really can end up being “that.”  All of these transformations came from an encounter with Jesus — not from perfect theology or from reciting a creed or from much else.

And Lil Wayne is on to something… we really are drawn to stories of redemption.  We are sucked into and amazed by stories where the unlikely happens and a mess of a person, a misery of a person ends up whole, thriving and changed.  Whether they are in the Bible or in The Washington Post or Rolling Stone.

That Bible isn’t as dull as some people think.  It’s full of good news, good words, fighting words, words that fight for us, not against us.

If we can sit still long enough to take it in (an opportunity that prison affords), we get some surprises.  Like Lil Wayne says, “It’s deep.”  And cool.

That’s a rap.



~ by Cary on January 20, 2011.

2 Responses to “Lil Wayne and Jesus”

  1. I love that Lil Wayne said that! And I love that he found Jesus in the prison. I love that!

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