Why “Ragamuffin Warrior?”

29 03 2013

So what is a “Ragamuffin Warrior” anyway? I’m glad you asked. The title for this blog is a blending of one of my favorite books with one of my favorite movies.

First, the book: “Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning

In his work, Manning describes a ragamuffin as someone who is, at best, a-pieced-together-work-in-progress. (My words, not his. To read his, and I pray you do, pick up a copy of his book. Or let me know and I’ll loan you one.) A ragamuffin has nothing of real value to offer. He has mastered no skill nor relies on any great talent. The best he can do is to just make it through the day. His spirit is somewhat rebellious, prone to wandering. A ragamuffin limps through life, tilted halo, broken wings. He has warts and wounds. A ragamuffin hurts others, even when not intentional. Most of all, he’s desperate. Whether he knows it or not, whether he acknowledges it or not, he has a longing to be caught up in a grand story. A ragamuffin longs for significance, but isn’t quite sure how to find it.

And the movie? Braveheart

There’s a line from Braveheart in which the narrator recounts the victory of the Scots. He says that they fought like “warrior poets.” A warrior is someone who is brave and strong. He doesn’t run from opposition, but holds his ground and fights. A warrior trains, mastering the necessary skills to be victorious in battle. He plans and schemes. A warrior learns the methods and maneuvers of his adversary. He is noble and just. A warrior does not fight simply because he can, but fights when it is required of him. Most importantly, a warrior fights for the heart of his king. Unselfishly, he lives to advance the kingdom.

 

So, what to make of these two contrasting, yet juxtaposed ideas of manhood. First of all, I am a ragamuffin. My best efforts often fail. But the grace of God doesn’t leave me there. He gives me purpose. He allows me to join in a great story, the great story, His story. The Bible says that as a Christian, I am part of God’s Kingdom. I am a warrior. The first two things a warrior learns is who he is fighting for and who he is fighting against. Christ is my King. I fight for His heart. His heart is the redemption of man. He longs to restore people’s hearts and to give them purpose, meaning, life, and joy. He wants to know you and for you to know Him.

The adversary is the devil. That might come as a shock to those outside the church and should come as a reminder to those within. The adversary is not a politician. Not a race. Not this group of people or that. It’s not anything of this world. We must remember this, “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:12)

So that’s me, a Ragamuffin Warrior. I’m not always sure of what I’m doing or if what I’m doing is working. But I am clear about who it is that I serve and who it is that I fight.