My heart was in my throat. I know that sounds so cliche, but there aren’t any other words for it. My hands were shaking, my voice was unsteady. And I waited. There on the sidelines. I waited for someone to pick me from the crowd.
But no one did.
So I took myself, in my homemade dress, with my big librarian glasses and my frizzy hair back to safer places. Where Narnia, Xanth and Pern spoke in language I understood. That of myth and of legend. Heroes and bravery. I stayed there for years. Until I learned how to “fit in”. Be funny! Be smart! It won’t matter if you aren’t Pretty or Cool.
Somewhere in my mid-20’s I became Acceptable. I had no idea what to do with it. To be honest, I still don’t most of the time.
I find it sublimely ridiculous that so many in the world live in a chronic state of Junior High popularity contests. And believers aren’t much better, to be honest. The cheerleader type leadership with the captain of the football team as pastor. “Here to PUMP YOU UP!!!!” The Youth Group groupies. The College & Career Meat Market. The In crowd of the Ultra-Spiritual gathering in “serious” groups to discuss prayer requests and minister. Those who “feel deeply the moving of the Spirit” and all their expressions of faith. They look down on those of us who do not break into dances of joy or gut wrenching sobs at the first chord of the worship leader.
Aren’t we supposed to be a body, as in one unit moving toward a common goal and purpose? I always thought so. I would like to see it. But from the Purpose Driven Agenda (Thank you Rick Warren for single-handedly waving the pom-poms for Syria) to the Mega-church (does a football stadium full of people glad handing each other really spell fellowship?) to the splinter groups that hide in their self-imposed isolation and self-righteous indignation, we have become a body bag of mis-matched parts and not a focused, obedient, disciplined structure heading the same way.
I don’t have any answers. I’m not writing to find conclusion or “closure”. Just observing.
I wish I didn’t feel so often like the awkward teenager in the middle of what are supposed to be my peers. But I do find some consolation in the knowledge that I am not alone in my plight.
Aren’t we reminiscent of the island of broken toys? The last refuge for the mis-fit?