Working in youth ministry for 30 years has given me a strong taste of “the odd.” It seems as though I get odd comments, looks, and reactions for liking teenagers and caring about their lives.
- “Yeah, but what do you really do for a living?”
- “When are you going to get your own church?”
- “So, you… actually spend time with them? Why would you do that?”
Being odd, being misunderstood is part of what you “sign-up” for when you follow God’s lead to love Him and like teenagers. Being odd is part of the gig.
But, in God’s larger kingdom, being odd is part of simply following Jesus. We are “aliens and strangers in the world” (1 Peter 2:11). So was Jesus. God became flesh and invited people from earth to a foreign way of thinking… to exchange their ways for the Kingdom… to dance instead of walk. To be odd–simply odd.
A.W. Tozer beautifully describes this oddness
“A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for one whom he has never seen. He talks familiarly every day to someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of another, empties himself in order that he might be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up. He is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and a happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge.”
Maybe being odd isn’t such a bad thing.