Have you ever known somebody who was kind of strange? You know…they not only march to the beat of a different drummer, they’re in a band all by themselves. I’ve known a few and, on occasion, have been kind of strange myself. I guess we all have. Many years ago, my secretary told me something I had never considered. I was complaining about something an employee had done and said to her with some degree of anger, “Man! That guy is really weird!” She looked at me with forgiving eyes and said, “You know, Doug…everyone is weird in their own way.” In her own simple way, she knew more about human beings than I did, that’s for sure!
When we think of someone as weird or strange, what we are saying is that they don’t behave normally. They are the exception to the rule. And if they are weird enough, we will eventually ostracize them for failing to meet our standard of normalcy. Let’s be honest – we all prefer others to be like us because we mistakenly believe that we are the normal ones. Sometimes we Christians are weird and I’m not talking about religious fanatics who carry signs around telling everyone that the world is coming to an end (duh!). I have a different kind of weirdness in mind. It’s the weirdness of a lack of love. Our Lord told us plainly:
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35.
Here’s where we get weird. We tell each other that we are disciples of Jesus and, at the same time, treat each other as if we were enemies. We fight over theology and doctrine. We do battle over the “best” kind of worship service or how Sunday School should work. We even treat our own particular denomination as the one true way and castigate others for going with some other flavor, relegating them to the category of “misguided souls”. We make big deals out of comparative minutia. And do you know why? Because we are weird Christians. We ignore what Jesus says about love, preferring instead to remain rigidly ensconced in what we already understand. We get plain weird, making far too much of things that will pass away and far too little of what lasts forever. If only we would loosen our vice-like grip on lesser things. If only we’d quit being weird.
Jesus is the normal Man and He is looking for us to be normal, like Him. When we are known principally for our mutual love, the world may think us strange, but they will also know we are disciples of Jesus. And you can be sure that our Lord will smile appreciatively at how our weirdness has morphed into His normalcy. Are you a little weird? Maybe it’s time to love your way to being normal. Start at home and work your way out.