“What have you done, child? You wished yourself away… You doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.”
-Aslan, Voyage of the Dawn Treader
It’s drawing near midnight, and we are all curled up on our pallets, winding down after a night filled with dancing and laughter and movies and an unhealthy amount of snack food. We know we have to get up for church in the morning, but are hesitant to go to sleep just yet, so we play on our phones and keep the conversations going for just a little bit longer.
The current discussion is over boys (as such conversations at sleepovers always seem to circle around to). I listen to the stories and nod in agreement and make comments periodically, having no tales to tell from my own experience. At a lull in the chatter my friend glances over at me and says, “Sometimes I think you’re superhuman or something, Emily. I mean, do you ever have crushes, or think a guy is cute?”
For a split second, I freeze. How does one properly respond to such a statement? Those types of comments, although I take them as compliments, always make me feel so awkward. Do I react by saying something in agreement that could be misconstrued as self-righteousness, or do I fall into the opposite trap of protesting my own worldview so I come across as normal?
Obviously, neither reaction is advisable, so I usually just try and brush it off. This time I say something along the lines of, “Well yeah, I’ve seen some pretty cute guys, but I haven’t had anything that amounted to a crush in a few years.” And the conversation moves on, but I’m left feeling unsettled by the incident.
I get similar comments quite often from my friends; people tend to see me as this innocent (slightly naïve), super-Christian girly girl.
And yes, I suppose I am that girl.
But that’s not all I am.
Yes, I love listening to Christian musicians and reading books by Christian authors– because they view the world through the same lens that I do. My Bible’s filled with highlights and underlines (I’ve had it for about seven years now). I absolutely love having spiritual discussions. I’ve got a huge passion for purity. I try to share God’s love with everyone I meet.
But I am also terribly, frustratingly selfish. I’m impatient and sarcastic. I adore my secular music of preference– show tunes and classic rock and adorable love songs. I’m a fan of many fictional entities, none of which are overtly Christian (if they’re religiously affiliated at all). I laugh at stupid things and sometimes forget that I should be focusing on “whatever is pure, whatever is holy…”
I’m definitely not a super-Christian. (And I doubt there such a person actually exists.) I don’t want to be put on a pedestal. I’m nowhere near perfect, and I’m not trying to be.
But at the same time I have to wonder: when did it become abnormal for Christians to actually show their Christianity? When did we begin to feel we have to apologize for being “too spiritual”– as if there is such a thing! Why are we made to feel guilty– by other believers, no less– for actually loving Jesus? Why is it an oddity to be a junior in high school and not have experience with a guy, and to be perfectly content in this season of waiting and focusing on other things?
We can’t hope to have an influence on this world if we’re just like it.
Aren’t we called to be different? To be lights in this jaded world? How, then, can we let our light shine if we keep it hidden under a bushel?
It’s okay to be unusual. In fact, there’s a certain beauty in it.
Don’t be afraid to let your love for Jesus overflow. He’s our everything, and it’s high time we lived like it. It’s time we got excited about the Truth that has set us free!
Don’t be afraid to be innocent. It’s quite possible to be intelligent and well-informed of the goings-on of this world without getting involved in them all. Purity of heart and mind is a good thing.
Don’t be afraid to live set apart. You’re not alone– I have been extremely blessed to know several lovely people who share my convictions on waiting for love (and other matters of anticonformity), and they’ve been a huge encouragement to keep standing. There are people out there who are taking a stand for the same things you are, so take heart!
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. You don’t have to modify who you are just to fit someone else’s standards of normality. God designed you the way He did for a specific purpose, and you are wonderfully made.
It’s okay to be unusual, Dear One.
Standing up for Jesus’ name
Just let them call you strange
I call you brave, unique and set apart
A masterpiece, a work of art
Living out what you believe
Being who you’re made to be
I love to see the way that you are so
You’re so unusual
I think you’re beautiful
You’re so unusual
Francesca Battistelli // Unusual