Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Today, I begin the third week of the gospel immersion course I'm taking from Christianne. If you've never checked her out, I highly recommend that you do. She's a gentle, loving and inviting soul who I've come to adore over the years. I'm a little behind this week in the reading, but today I'm starting the book of Luke.
We've been having conversations in our online classroom about the ways that Jesus welcomes the people in his culture who were outsiders: women, tax collectors, lepers, etc. And as a part of that conversation, we've been invited to share the ways that we might have experienced "otherness" in our lives. That conversation made me realize that I'm thinking about these things differently than I ever have before.
I've always felt terribly weird. (If you know me, you might be nodding your head as you read that.) I never really fit in, no matter where I was. I don't think this is my imagination. I've been told many times that I'm different. (This is polite language for "strange.") It has made me feel very lonely over the years. For a while I tried to find ways to fit in, but that was exhausting. So I just quit trying and that made the loneliness even more intense.
But lately, I've started to wonder if a sense of displacement and non-belonging isn't part of what it means to be human in a world that is so terribly broken. Maybe we're supposed to feel this way. Maybe this is what drives us to God. And maybe the things that make us unique and strange are the most precious refections of God within us.
So I'm embracing my inner weirdo. You're welcome to join the club if you like. We're a little crazy, but we're a welcoming bunch. It's impossible to be lonely when you're surrounded with the broken shards of the world, reflecting light off the edges of our pain.