Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Peculiar People

Having to move through out my childhood, it was increasingly hard to fit in. Both of my parents were in the service and every three years there was a new state or country to be introduced to. Being known as the new one on the block was one thing but weird because we didn't talk like everyone else was something different. Once a handful of people got use to us, my father received his orders to be stationed elsewhere and it started all over again. Mom was finished with her military career after a couple of years but it seemed like Dad was going to stay for a lifetime. People were envious of us because of the traveling all over the world and the United States, but there is always a side that others don't see and could never see because of the envy.

In all of the travel we were a sheltered bunch. My father put himself out there as the provider and took all of the pressure that was sent our way. We, the children, didn't feel anything. Then when the split of my parents occured we could see it in my mother's face what my father seemed to take with ease. She still did her part in sheltering us from the harsh cruel world though Dad did it with such finese. By the time we were independent enough to stand on our own, not only did we have to recuperate from culture shock, never being in the same residence with our own ethnicity, but how our own ethnicity treated each other in general. Societal norms were nothing what we thought they were.

Once we became stable for more than three years for the first time in our lives, we realized that we could develop friendships. We didn't know how hard that would be until we actually tried to do it. When getting some advice from Mom, she had her own issues to deal with having to provide for a family of five for the first time. Her answer was to be happy that we have siblings close to our age and we could be friends to each other. Great, a means to be even weirder. But to Mom it was a means to keep each other safe while she was at work.

Looking at our situation now as a grown woman with grown children of my own, I can see that wolves were everywhere. Mom had three young daughters and seemed to be scared all of the time. Men were constantly coming around pretending to be interested when the prospects were more than a middle aged woman and a son didn't seem to be much of a threat. Mom would come home at night using public transportation. She was mugged twice but never physically harmed. My brother tried to help make ends meet with a paper route and was mugged twice as well but not physically harmed. Though it seemed to be rough, I know now other people had it much worse.

It took awhile for us to realize that Mayberry was a ficticiuos place that some writer made up. The village that it took to raise a child was somewhere that most people don't know about. Villages these days had wrought ironed window sills with hiddened loaded weapons and hints of road rage against pedestrians much less caring about the welfare of some wayward child.

About 20 years ago I recalled trying to hold back tears thinking that some day people would become so callous that if someone fainted off the side of the road on a busy sidewalk, bystanders would walk over the person thinking that their agenda was more important and someone else will call 911. I reconciled myself by thinking that because of the Holy Spirit, it would never get that way. Then my baby sister decided to do a social experiment in college (before it became popular to do). She dressed up as a homeless person just to see who would help her if she really needed it. It wasn't as bad as she thought it would be though it was bad. She received an A. 10 years later my son contemplated giving a homeless man any money when asked. He gave, but couldn't shake the feeling that he knew the homeless man from somewhere before. He watched the man for a time and when people weren't giving as much and he got tired; my son watched this man walk a distance, get into his car, and drive to his home not just a few blocks away. The next day the man was at the same place asking for money and every day afterwards.

God said that He was going to gather His treasure which would be a peculiar people that have been set apart from everyone. As you can see from this synopsis, who else could judge which is more peculiar than the other (Titus 2:14 KJV)? What use to be normal is now considered strange. Divorce, foreigners, and a single mother use to be strange. Begging for money in a public place and looking homeless use to be strange. Pretending to be homeless whether for a grade or to get some fast cash use to be strange. Stepping over someone in need was considered very strange... actually unheard of. What will the bride be made of? Which of God's people is considered peculiar. Who will be apart of that nation? Is it you who is strange or peculiar?

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