While we were in Seneca with my mom in the last weeks of her life, Collins and I were waiting in a hair salon and ran into a childhood friend. It was so good to see her. Our dads have been best friends for years. I really wanted Collins to get to know her a little while we were sitting there so I asked her to tell Collins a little about her life. You see, Collins has always had a heart for what the world says is “different.” What I mean by this is that Collins has always had a special compassion for kids with Down’s syndrome, the disabled, and handicapped. My friend has raised a child with cerebral palsy who is now a young adult. Unbeknownst to my friend…..I have always admired her joy and how she has parented this child with a positive attitude, love and perseverance. She has other children as well.
She began telling Collins a little about her life….she just finished going to college every day with her child with cerebral palsy where he earned an accounting degree. He still lives at home and desires to live on his own but she is not sure if that is an option for him. He does volunteer work and she goes with him. As Collins asked questions…..the thing that struck me the most was when the conversation turned to church. Their church has been such an encouragement and support to them. She talked about how he and some others had started a Sunday school class and had long ago named it, “The Misfits.” When she said this…..it was like sticking a knife in my heart. She said it in a very matter-of-fact tone…..but in fact…as she talked, I realized this is exactly how kids who are viewed as different can feel…..It broke my heart. Of course, she was not at all looking for sympathy from us. She didn’t miss a beat in talking about their life and where their help had come from……but I really didn’t hear another word she said after the word “Misfit!”
It made me soo sad! Misfit….I pondered this for a while. In fact, I am still pondering it two weeks later. As I sat by my mom’s bedside for several days, I had time to think about this…..I first have decided to pray for the people in the world who don’t feel like they fit in….ones who are visibly different….and ask God to comfort them…..Also, I intend to enlist the help of some people who possibly may feel this way because of a disability and ask them what others can do or not do to help them fit in. I could try and guess how they feel, but I am not them….nor have I walked their walk. They are the best teachers to explain what works and what doesn’t work.
The second thing God has put on my heart is this: We are all MISFITS!! Or better said, God’s plan for us as Christians is to be Misfits. He says it directly in His Word. Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” As Christians, we are supposed to be different. We are supposed to have the aroma of Christ….
Colossians 3:1-5, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
God encourages us to be “light” in a dark world.….the thought that I continue to examine is: Do I blend in or am I a “misfit” in the world? By my actions, not my words, in a court of law would I be convicted as a “Christian?”
These are just a few questions I continue to ask myself:
1. Do I indulge in gossip? Or do I walk away or kindly stop it?
2. Do I find the good in others?
3. Do I confront when I see wrong?
4. Do I justify what we like to call white lies?
5. Am I the pot calling the kettle black?
6. Do I worry? Or do I live a life of trust?
7. Have I genuinely forgiven people who have wronged me? Do I harbor bitterness?
8. When I am squeezed (adversity), what comes out?
Many other questions could be added to the list….I believe to live a life as a “misfit” and not blend…..we have to take a close look at our actions to see where we are ……….Do we desire to not blend?…I am not talking about purposely trying to stand out or be noticed by others…but a humility that Christ lived on earth…… a true realization you can do nothing or be nothing of significance without Christ and His transforming power.
My new definition of a misfit? I have found it to be the perfect word for a Jesus follower!
I Corinthians 1:26-28, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are.”
Seeking to be more of a “misfit!”