Pretty much crazy

The other day, we were having lunch and telling someone our story. As we’re talking, it dawns on me. No wonder we sometimes get these “looks” as we’re talking. We sound crazy. Crazy because we’re adopting. Crazy because we (well, I right now… and Evan someday) go on mission trips to love on orphans. Crazy because we’re doing all of this because of something we felt in our hearts. Crazy because this isn’t how normal people live out the American Dream.

And for the first time in my life, I’m okay with crazy.

To be honest, I hate being abnormal. All I’ve ever wanted my whole life is a “normal” life. I strive to blend in, fit in, be in. But more and more, I don’t like what “in” is, what “in” means. I am convinced that a nice car, a big house, stuff (whatever I supposed I thought that was)…it just doesn’t matter in the long run. And that’s not what Jesus would want us to be pursuing as we live as Christ-followers. It’s not that that stuff is inherently bad (it isn’t), but for me, it’s a distraction. It gets in the way of us living out this God-calling.

Yesterday, I served as a World Vision Child Ambassador volunteer. On Wednesday, the area manager had sent out an email asking for volunteers to staff an event on Saturday in Daytona. Evan was working and I didn’t have anything going on until the afternoon, so I decided to go. It was at a beauty pageant, and I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it’s exactly like you would expect. Little kids (boys and girls), dressed up, wearing make-up, strutting in their pageant wear. Wigs, curlers, sequins everywhere.

I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to tell anyone about child sponsorship, and many of the folks I had the opportunity to talk to had never heard of World Vision, so I hope my next comment doesn’t come out condescending. I couldn’t help but notice the dichotomy between the toddlers in their make up and little sequin dresses and the faces of the impoverished children in our folders. It hurt my heart. Here, in the U.S., we can spend our money on making our children look beautiful, while children all around the world face hunger, no/little education, poor health, and violence and war. Our children get to wear make-up and have their hair done up in curls while these children have to struggle to find water. Again, I’m not here to criticize the beauty pageant, but I wonder, if that’s all there is, what is the point?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls us to radical living. It’s as if Jesus said, “What the world (and religion) values, encourages, and does, I don’t. Following me ups the ante on how you live life.” Reading through those chapters in Matthew, I’m struck how hard Christ-following living really is. And it looks crazy to me. Jesus begins this teaching by blessing a bunch of people that the world considers “losers” or those who “don’t have what it takes” or the “crazies”:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

-Jesus in Matthew 5:3-12

There are a number of really smart people who have tried to understand and comment on Jesus’ words in the Beatitudes. I’m not going to pretend to be one of those people. But if I added my two cents, I would say that Jesus is telling us to live contrary to how society and culture tell us to live. Live for God and what God desires. If you “make it on earth”, you’ll get a reward here on earth. Our world doesn’t value nor reward the things that God desires or calls beautiful.

So we’ll be crazy. We’ll keep pursuing the things that God wants. And we’ll probably continue to get looks. Because we’re crazy about the things God wants us to be crazy about.

That’s the point.

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4 thoughts on “Pretty much crazy

  1. I LOVE this post! Since the kids were small, I’ve taught them the value of being “a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9). That is what God calls us if we are following Him. You and Evan just continue being crazy, and maybe someone out there will see the value of it and emulate you!

  2. I am so glad that you and Evan are “normal” for God, because as “new creatures” He said we are unique. I’ve been “crazy” in a lot of people’s eyes (even church people) for a long time and it isn’t always fun in the worldy sense, but we are ambassadors from another Kingdom, so we will always be outsiders in this world. I tried to fit in with the world for a while as a young adult, but it didn’t work. You have been given a mission, praise God, that is better than anything this world offers. Yet, you will find worldly people being envious of you in spite of themselves. Keep spreading your “craziness” in Jesus’ name and loving those orphans (especially the one He has picked out for you). You both rock! Love and blessings!

  3. Great post, “Crazy” Carla! Just this morning I was reading the Sermon on the Mount. My attention was particularly snagged by this verse: “…narrow is the gate and difficult (or confining) is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matt. 7:14) This might explain why you feel “crazy.” You and Evan are going against the tide. And I love you for it.

  4. Pingback: The post I’ve waited to write | Beyond Inspired

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