Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Those Who Refuse to Fit the Mold

As humans, we tend to categorize people. We usually don't intend to do it; it just happens. We grow up with an idea of how people should be - of what society considers to be normal. A family should be a mother, father, 2.3 kids, and a dog. Anything outside this is abnormal. A woman should wear dresses, and be the weaker of the species. A man walking around in heels and a red dress is not normal. A man should be out working and supporting his family - a stay at home dad is not the norm.

And, anything outside the norm is "bad." A single mother of 5 is considered a whore. The dress-wearing man is obviously gay and a horrible sinner. The stay at home father is lazy.

Everyone is supposed to fit into this societal mold. We're to have the perfect family, the right amount of income, hang out with the "right" people, and even think like everyone else. We should be willing to gossip about those who are "less" than us - those who don't fit in. We have to be at church and drag the family with us. Our children have to be well behaved at all times. We are not supposed to have any mental disabilities or diseases or issues.

And a person who is willing to hang out with the poor, the depressed, the destitute - well, that person is just crazy. A person who spends time with the non-Church goer, or with the "dysfunctional" family, or with anyone who otherwise just doesn't fit into that mold - that person is just nuts, out of his/her mind, and is wrong.

What I find rather funny is that Jesus was one of these who didn't fit the mold. Even his own family thought him to be out of his mind (Mark 3). The religious authorities assumed he must be possessed by a demon (which in itself is funny considering one reason they thought this is because he was driving out demons).

Instead of fitting in and being what people thought he should be, Jesus was continuously challenging those norms. He healed the sick, drove out demons, showed love to everyone - especially the poor, the depressed, the stranger, the prostitute, etc. He challenged those who were higher up the social ladder to give to the poor. He challenged the beliefs and traditions of religious leaders. He redefined family, stating that his family was all those who did the will of God.

And he challenges us to be like this as well. To follow Christ, we're to be more like him. This means we should be willing to break that mold. We're not to look down on those who don't fit in - we're to embrace them as our sisters and brothers. We're not to speak ill of these people - we're to lift them up and show them love.

I can say without a doubt - I'm happy to not fit any mold. I'm happy to be a little bit psycho. I'm happy to not fit in with the gossiping, "perfect," well-to-do people. And I'm blessed to have others in my life who also don't fit that mold; and to have others who love me for who I am and not for what they think I should be.

 God bless!

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