Monday, November 28, 2011

Island of Misfit Toys

Getting out of my 1998 Saturn in a parking lot full of shiny new cars, I am aware that I do not fit in here. My battered paperback New Testament The Message looks shabby compared to the leather encased Holy Bible across the table, King James Version stamped in formal gold letters on its spine. The suit-n-tie set, especially those with instant Biblical recall, memorized chapter and verse citations, often leave me feeling like a misfit.

Yet, I choose to come here - or go there - to venture outside my comfortable community in Christ, to spend time in churches within the greater community.

This morning, as I read from
Colossians, the Island of Misfit Toys comes to mind ... the
jack-in-the-box named Charlie ... the spotted elephant ... a choo choo with square wheels on the caboose ... a water pistol shooting jelly ... the bird that swims but cannot fly ... the cowboy who rides an ostrich ... a little boat unable to afloat.

Alongside the suit-n-tie set, dressed in my jeans and scruffy shoes, I am often uncomfortably under dressed. Sometimes,
no matter what I am wearing, I am entirely uncomfortable.

It is not my wardrobe, the clothing and shoes selected from my closet. I choose to come here - or go there - somewhere deep inside, embracing the crippling voice of the enemy, cruel whispered memories, echoed lies: "You cannot and do not fit in."

All the old fashions are now obsolete. 
Words like... insider and outsider, 
uncivilized and uncouth, 
slave and free, mean nothing. 
From now on everyone is defined by Christ, 
everyone is included in Christ. 

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, 
dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: 
compassion, kindness, humility, 
quiet strength, discipline... 
regardless of what else you put on, wear love.  

My faith community is an island of misfits, a vibrant reef of Christ followers, that outsiders may interpret as lawless and misguided. My experience says otherwise. The peace of Christ keeps us in tune with each other. Christ's love gives us the strength to serve others in His name.

Suits-n-ties. Jeans-n-scruffy-shoes. We are all misfits, hindered by square wheels, or swimming because we were not taught to fly. Like Santa who cherishes and repairs the misfit toys, Christ is working within us, inviting us to accept our place in God's plan for all creation.

All are welcome here!


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