Wednesday, July 13, 2011

They're Not Like Me!

The world of social media is upon us and it's not going anywhere.  As I have ventured out there through the different sites and been led to the blogosphere, I find that I am drawn to certain types of blogs just as I am drawn to certain types of people; mostly those written by wives, moms and Christians.  But I have also stumbled across some writings and posts that were written by people I would not normally be drawn to.  And let me tell you, folks, there are some funky people and ideas out there. (Don't worry, I'm not so naive as to think that no one might find me quirky or "out there".)


It has gotten me to think about the people we rub shoulders with, are inclined to spend time with and who we relate to.  It's so easy to avoid those who we feel are not living the way we feel is wholesome and healthy.  And if we find ourselves in a situation where one of those people are in a room with us, we can simply avoid making eye contact.  Then we don't have to deal with them.  You know the ones I'm talking about...they may be dressed all in black with piercings and tattoos everywhere.  They may come to church wearing a tiny little mini skirt, stilettos and a shirt with a plunging neckline.  Maybe they just got out of prison and still have to report to a parole officer.  Or maybe they wear suits, ride bikes and knock on your door to hand you a pamphlet about a religion you don't believe in.  They could be the homeless drunk downtown who asks you for money on your way to a concert.


But have you ever thought that maybe part of living in a fallen world is tasting the fall?  Maybe God wants us to be touched by the quirky or bad or different in people's lives.  I am not saying that we are to become like those around us or espouse everything that others espouse.  I'm just saying that we should let people "touch" us. 


If we look at God as "the great fixer", then we really don't need to become involved in people's lives, do we?  We can stand at a distance, throw money in the plate, and offer up a prayer for someone.  But if we see Him as being with us in life, then we must get involved.  We must walk out the attributes of God that He would show if He were here, physically walking among us.


If we can enter into someone's pain with them and let it touch us, knowing that we are taking the Lord with us, then we can offer up an answer or help or simple kindness.  His presence in us enables us to walk through the bad things, the ugly things, the hurtful things that people are going through.  I wonder how many times we have avoided contact with someone because of their lifestyle or their appearance or  their past.  If we can't bump up against others and let their lives effect ours, then we can't be a light to the world.  We can't ease suffering and pain and then He has no opportunity to work through us.


If I can be a little bit of Jesus in the world then my life has meaning and purpose and I will be so busy doling out the love of God that my issues will grow strangely dim!  Then God is at work in me and He will have avenues with which He can bless me as I bless others.


From His lap,

8 comments:

  1. That is a good practice, but not just to understand how they are fallen, but how they are not fallen.

    I once took a plane and ended up sitting across from a porn actress. She saw me drawing and we got into a conversation about art, performance, etc. She was enthusiastic to show me her photo, which was of her topless, pushing up her breasts. I looked and said, 'oh, you used to be blonde.'

    That led us into a conversation about looks and the appeal of blondes vs brunettes. We talked about her figuring out where to live, what she was going to tell her young daughter later in life, how she loves to read non-fiction history books, and more. In other words, she was incredibly normal, average and relatively happy about her life.

    Did she and would she have issues in her life about her choice of jobs? I am sure she would. But, in spite of the stigma, she wasn't any more damaged than many other people I know, much less so than many more 'normal' women I know actually. I walked away from the conversation happy I had met her, not because of her issues, but because of her lack of them.

    My point is that perhaps it's not complete to say we need to touch them because of their pain, perhaps we also need to touch them because they are just like us, with pain, happiness and normalcy all mixed together.

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  2. Oh, amen, Marty. Yes, and we won't even know that about someone if we don't take the time to talk with them and see what they are about! I was specifically speaking of people who we know are hurting and wanting someone to reach out to them in love...not to judge them and push them away.
    Love you, Marty!!
    ~Erin

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  3. Seriously????
    One of the best blogs I have read in a long time. Too often we, as Christians, think we are not rub shoulders with the 'ungodly'. Yet, when we think of Jesus being in every person, then we are to be in the world more and more. Jesus didn't just hang at the temple or with his disciples.
    I'd love to repost this or have you write something similar on my blog for a guest post. Email me at shanda.oakley@gmail.com if you are interested.

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  4. Erin, I sit here with tears in my eyes and an ache I my heart. I once was considered a good child of God and a youth director and then I had a nervous breakdown. The Dr said my mind and body just quit..Iyou see I battle severe anxiety, OCD, uncontrollable fear coupled with many physical diseases including Chrons, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, kidney problems and more I was suddenly one of those people that were avoided. I lost my church family and many of my regular family. Thanks to my current husband and my kids and the true friends I had I fought my way back to a life, Each and every day is a challenge. The hubby is with me almost 24/7 or if he is a minute away usually I have a backup. Would you know this if you saw me...doubtful. The hubby started a blog for me so I could try to get "out" without being afraid. I have met wonderful people like you and Nelly. The hubby says people judge out of ignorance, meaning what they don't understand. I am still a saved child of God but I am a lot less judgemental than I ever was. See God does have a reason for everything and I found several in my illness. My favorite quote is "when someone's body is sick people send flowers, when the mind is sick they throw stones. I think this applies to being judgemental in all things. Thank you from the sincere bottom of my heart for the reminder to reach out to others.

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  5. Oh Karen, you are such a precious child of God! And your husband sounds like an angel. I'm so sorry that the Church rejected you and I ask you for forgiveness. Nobody should be made to feel that way ever, especially by the body of Christ. I have a post written for tomorrow that I am dedicating to you! I had already written it before I got your comment and now I now why!
    I love you!
    Erin

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  6. I love this post because I have many friends who would fall into the category of 'different'. Someone once told me - and I live my life by it - Different does not mean wrong and difficult does not mean impossible. Some of those relationships have sometimes been difficult but my friend was right, they were different but not wrong and the relationship was anything but impossible.

    Thanks as always Erin.

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  7. You are exactly right, Lorraine! Thank you for sharing this!
    I always appreciate you stopping by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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