Thursday, 18 April 2013

On Being an Irregular Quadrilateral in a Round hole

Church is a rather round hole.  It ought to be kind of morphous, allowing for the whole spectrum of humanity's idiosyncrasies, but it's really rather fixed,.. in a roundish kind of way.  Some people fit very smoothly into that roundish portal; maybe it's because they are super holy and have allowed God to mould them and 'knock off the corners' so to speak.  Or maybe they are naturally pliable and middle of the road.  I don't say that as a criticism, just an observation.  I am not one of those people.

It's hard being different.  We have a natural human inclination to find others who are like us.  To find a pack to run with.  Fitting in has been my proverbial carrot; something that has dangled in tantalisingly close proximity, yet always been out of reach. It is hardest though, when it comes to church.  The Bible talks about the church in terms of a body, and emphasises unity.  There is, then, a requirement to play one's part in that unity.  And so I do my best.  But always there is the reality of not being in the inner circle,... not quite being accepted.  Not having the right theology or the right social skills or the right dress code.  And it's hard.

For quite some time I thought I was on my own with this reality, but the more I am open and honest about my isolation, the more I realise that there are many on the fringe of church who feel equally on the periphery.  Outside.  Alone.  Different.  And I wonder why and how.  I wonder what God's purpose is in this steadily growing number of his people on the margins.  And then I realise that the margins are a good place, because that's where he was,... where he ministered.  The marginal were high on his list of people to hang out with.  And yet for so long the church has ignored these people, often preferring to maintain the status quo rather than engage with difficult outsiders.  Because outsiders who don't fit in so easily are often difficult.

So that's where I am.  Knowing in my heart of hearts that the margins, for me, are where it's at.  Seeking to minister as best I can in this windswept place.  Wondering what will come next....


Jackie said...

Welcome to the Edge. In permaculture language, it is a very productive place. We've had some good company out here, girl!

Lynn said...

^^^ Absolutely agree with Jackie.

Think of the edges of the forest. So much life & activity!


uầy ôi said...

Nice blog !!!
thanks for sharing
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