I’ve been weird my entire life.
Weird in a good way, I’m now learning.
Some of my weirdness wasn’t intentional. I was an Army brat and I moved a lot, so being the new kid in some ways makes you weird. I was sort of trained to never fully fit in. To always be looked at with a questioning eyes. To never be invited into the “in-crowd” because I either hadn’t been around long enough to wiggle my way in, or wouldn’t be around long enough for them to bother considering to let me do so.
I was never the exceptional one, the pretty one, the interesting one, the captivating one or the smart one… I was just one… among many…. and I was a bit weird.
But like I said, those situations of non-chosen weirdness have made being intentionally weird, easier. I’m sort of accustomed to being scoffed at. It still hurts, of course. Especially when it’s done with malicious intent, but I’m getting more and more used to it.
I consider being weird a bit of a badge of honor.
Fact is, nothing that the Lord has called me to do would fall into the category of “normal”. And really, should I be surprised?
God didn’t do anything normal… and his son, Jesus, most certainly didn’t. Tell me the people on the outskirts watching him rub mud in a guys eyes weren’t standing there saying, “That dude is weird.”
You find me a time when Jesus did or said something in the Bible and I’ll read it through “normal” eyes and tell ya: “Yep, he was weird, alright.” Actually, it’s one of the things I love most about him.
About ten years ago, Shaun and I felt called to downsize our house although we didn’t need to. We could afford living just where we were, but we felt a pull from the Lord.
Wanna know how weird that is?
The mortgage lender made us write a letter explaining why we wanted to downsize. Shaun and I looked at each other with the old **huh?** stare down. Neither one of us could grasp why they couldn’t grasp the concept of not wanting to spend money you didn’t have to spend. So finally he just wrote, “because we don’t need to spend this much every month on a house” and we signed it.
A few years later we would come to the realization of why God asked us to do that very weird thing. It was because he was calling us to do even a weirder thing and we would need all the extra money we could scrape together to do it.
He called us to adopt.
From Africa. Now, that’s not completely weird. Thankfully, there are more and more people adopting children from all over the states and the world, every single day. But it’s still not the norm. You see, we already had two children who were actually produced out of my womb. They were 9 and 11 years old at the time and people couldn’t fathom why we would “disturb” our home and take in a new child.
What made it weirder? We were adopting a boy… of nine years old. Now that’s weird! It’s weird because people are afraid to adopt boys, of color, from another country, who are older. As a matter of fact, the chances of a boy over the age of five being adopted is very, very small.
That’s why God called us to do it. Because Yohannes needed a home and deserved to be loved as much as any newborn child in the world.
Was it risky?
Yes. Could there have been disruption in our home? Yes. Was there? A little at first. Is he one of the most amazing children you’ll ever meet? Yes. He’s now a Sophomore in High School, at grade level or above, and he’s respectful, kind, well-behaved and a blessing. So apparently, he’s weird.
And for the record – my other two boys (now ages 21 and 18) are also well behaved, do well in school, are well-adjusted and they love their new brother. So, they’re weird too.
Traveling to Uganda, Africa for a missions trip? Weird. Traveling to Gulu, Uganda, Africa where they have no running water or working toilets, when I won’t even use a public bathroom or a porta-potty because I’m too scared, and they make me throw up? Very weird. Going against everything I know to be safe and comfortable, just because I believe God told me to? Weird.
Waking up at the age of thirty-and a high number, and deciding out of nowhere that I was being called to write a book? Weird. Actually believing that God was telling me what to write? Weird. Making Jesus a character in the book? Weird. Making him the relational person I believe him to be? Weird. Writing about two teenagers who are choosing to remain pure? Weird. Doing it in a way that’s realistic and real world? Weird. Quitting Grad School so I can go off and make a movie? Weird. My husband working two jobs so I can keep trying to give this writing thing a go? Weird — and tiring.
Why be normal?
It’s so boring. If you think by being normal you’re escaping discomfort, think again.
It isn’t non-painful to be in constant competition with everyone around you. To make a mortgage payment you can’t afford. To wear shoes that hurt your feet purely for the sake of looking cool. Or to get needles stuck in your face so you can stay youthful looking while the world around you crumbles.
I mean really, that life… that life of normal, stinks. It hurts. And if you’re going to suffer, do it for some real good.
Suffer for the one who suffered for you.
Trust me, eventually people will accept the fact that you aren’t going to take part in their “normalness” and they’ll give up trying.
It’s not a bad word, or a lovely word. It’s like “abnormal”, it just rolls off the tongue and sounds good while doing it.
I want to encourage you to embrace your odd. Love your quirky. Go weird or go home.
Shout loud and proud: “I’m weird, get used to it!”
Please don’t be afraid of being “weird”. This world needs more Christ-like weirdness. It needs more people who are willing to take a stand for what’s right… for what isn’t normal. Of course I prefer you do it in a non-judgemental and loving way – otherwise you aren’t weird, you’re just a jerk, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.
Go be weird.
Go be weird at school, at work, at Wal-Mart (that place is filled with odd people so you’re going to have to work at that one), at church… anywhere you can think to be weird, be weird. And love every stinkin’ minute of it because you know God is!