Every family has its black sheep, the one the rest of the flock says will never produce anything worth wearing. After all, the wool of a black sheep has that stained look. Who would want such a garment?
In the Trexler family, my dad’s side, the sole black sheep’s name was Buzz -- that is, if you discount my late grandpa, Jim Trexler.
Being the black sheep among creatures who consider themselves unblemished fosters a sense of unworthiness, of never being able to measure up. In my own case, the family odds-makers gave even money that I would be dead or in prison by my 29th birthday. To be fair, though, I dyed my own wool. The choice of color was my own.
Years of rebellion against God and man painted my soul black as charcoal – a “soot-covered urchin running wild and unshod ...” ["Orphans of God," Mark Heard] Undoubtedly there were those in the flock who feared standing too close to the black sheep, perchance the darkened wool would mar their own coats.
So, the black sheep eventually wanders from the flock, searching for others who have no such fear. Scripture is full of such wandering sheep:
“I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.” (Psalm 119:176)
Buzz is a married father of two, managing editor for print/online at The (Maryville, TN) Daily Times and pastors Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa, TN. He is a 1981 graduate of East Tennessee State University, where he is a member of the Mass Communications Department Hall of Fame.
Inside you will find a collection of columns penned by Buzz on topics ranging from the death of Rich Mullins, to his battle with Hepatitis C, to asking the question, "Does God have a sense of humor."
Buzz talks with those who, as the late Larry Norman would say, "rock the flock." His interviews range from members of Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, Jars of Clay and Third Day, to David Crowder and more.
Follow Buzz as he travels with Vine International on two different medical misison trips to Guatemala, as well as one with Volunteer Medical Mission. In 1999, he also went to Estonia with a Volunteers in Mission team.
Blog: Gathering Wool
Blog: The Pastor's Buzz