I had all the qualifications: the prerogatives of the firstborn, the stature of a man of authority, a Goliath, an aquiline nose, an Octavian head, a heart flaming with anger, Saul’s good looks and regal gait. I had splendor and grace. I prayed loudly, devoutly. I came from good roots and was born in the right place. Who could be holier from Bethlehem?
How could my kid brother be anointed, the one with rosacea, looks like carpenter’s shavings, the smell of sheep dung on his hands, who roamed the fields looking for a lost lamb. He wasn’t even invited to the sacrificial banquet.
That old stickler Samuel knew I should be king. I coveted the horn that was strapped over his shoulders leaning toward me. Why wasn’t that good enough for God? My name alone should have given me the edge in the kingdom.
Little did tennis star Andre Agassi know that he was speaking prophetically when he declared in 1990s Canon camera commercials that “image is everything.” The truth of his marketing statement seems everywhere today. Pope Francis was not only Time’s “person of the year.” He was also Esquire’s “best dressed man of 2013.” The new pope is what he says, does and wears.