‘The line between normal and strange has blurred a bit’.
I came across this quote while reading an article about ’10 things that change once you’ve lived overseas’. It perfectly describes having to live within a new culture where people do things differently than we are used to. It’s weird to think that our strange is someone else’s normal and vice versa.
I wonder if Jesus’ first disciples would have enjoyed this quote? Would they have felt that it described their experience? They were living a normal life and then they are called by Jesus to follow him on a rollercoaster ride through life? They saw huge crowds searching for answers, they witnessed miracles, Jesus challenged them and then they were sent out to tell people about Jesus, to perform miracles and to challenge others. There lives were turned upside down, often they got things wrong but when you are moving forwards in faith you certainly won’t get everything right.
Jesus’ first disciples could say that ‘the line between normal and strange has blurred a
bit lot’, but how about us. If a friend started asking about your faith, would we shift the focus to our Church?
‘Come to my church, it’s nice.’
‘The music in my church is awesome’.
‘The people at church are so friendly’.
None of these things are wrong, they are just a long way from ‘the line between normal and strange has blurred a bit’. What has become important to us about our faith? Are we looking for comfort and having all our needs met by other Christians or are we willing to follow Jesus on a rollercoaster ride of faith?
How is Jesus transforming us? How are we involved in the lives of our fellow Christians seeing transformation rather than just trying to keep one another comfortable.
When someone at church complains that all their friends are mean to them. Do we say there, there and give them a hug and talk about how nasty everyone else is or do we explore with them that their behaviour might be the issue?
When someone is stressed, do we say there, there and give them a hug and talk about how evil the world is or do we ask them if they have prayed about it? Do we encourage them to move past their pain and to head towards fixing the problem?
When someone has been hurt, do we just say there, there and give them a hug and talk about how terrible their experience was or do we talk about forgiveness? Do we encourage them to leave their pain behind and find freedom in Christ? If we only offer sympathy does that encourage people to wallow in their pain rather than trying to move on?
These three scenarios may make me sound harsh but think about it this way, imagine you walked past a hole and someone is trapped down it. If you just offer sympathy then really you are no real help but if you show care and sympathy followed by pulling them out then you are being truly caring. Sympathy is an important start in caring for people, but freedom must be what we want for one another above everything else.
Has the line between normal and strange has blurred a bit?
I hope so and if it hasn’t may we choose to follow Jesus afresh as he leads us in a journey of transformation.