Weekly Sabbath Survey
Knowing People — 5-10-2014
It seems to me as I have become friends with different people over a lifetime, my first impression of most everybody changed as I got to know them. As a friendship deepens we begin to reveal more of ourselves, our past, our inner heart. Some of it is good, other times, maybe not. A facade can cover a lot of hurt and a lot of ugly. Some people steered away from me in time, as they found out who I really am. Others stayed and we endeared ourselves to each other as we built trust and became more transparent.
Have you ever met someone and wondered why they were so weird? You know you have. For some reason the Lord has caused me at times to gravitate to people others didn’t want to get to know any better than “Hi, how’er you?” and “Just fine, how’er you?” and with a nod you keep walking to your pew, a chair or the door. Another discovery was that the people God put me with, in time became some of the best friends I ever had. Even if they have died or we have moved away from each other, or we just don’t keep in touch any more — whatever, they are forever in my memory, a person that I will always hold in love.
I had such a friend in Del Rio that the Lord chose for me. I first saw her singing with another woman, leading music at a ladies meeting. They sang like angels. As my friendship formed with this sweet and loving woman, there were others who wondered aloud why I was so interested in her. She had a style of dress that was reminiscent of Scarlett O’Hara — big straw hats, whishy long skirts and high wedge sandals with ties around her ankles. This was not the style of that time. She was real tall, graceful, very soft spoken, and always stood out in a crowd. She had a merry heart that belied the emotional pain she lived with daily. She loved the Lord with a faith unwavering. She was a hyper sort of person, going a hundred miles an hour, almost as if she was making the most of every second she lived. Now, I wonder if that need for speed, that urgency, was of God. She left this earth for worlds unknown at the age of 52. I was privileged to hold her hand and whisper “love” to her as she was dying.
Why did the Lord put this peculiar person in my life? I learned so much from her: about caring, about loving, about acceptance of others — especially the quirky ones. She had her hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee, and it really showed to those who came close enough to “see” her. Her witness was her love of life, her selflessness, and her commitment to Jesus.
Once I get to know some of these ‘special’ people, the ones who can’t hide their peculiarities like most people do, I see there are serious reasons why they are so different. Once I know their story, I understand them better and love them even more. We all have emotional scars, and some people hide them well. They put up a mask of ‘normal.’ The weirdos can’t do that. So they develop a barrier with strange behavior or mannerisms or other things that may repel people. Only those who are willing to accept the quirks and befriend them anyway will know how precious they are to the Lord. Once I heard the whole testimony of what happened to them, I knew they were doing well to be as normal as they were.
As I have reflected on these matters over time, I realized I am one of the weird ones myself! What a shock! No wonder I am drawn to these people. It takes one to know one! I have found the acceptance and friendship I had wanted since childhood by being accepted by Jesus (another real life misfit!) and then accepting other people that weren’t exactly ‘in with the in crowd.’ Jesus’ merry band was a hodgepodge of persons unacceptable by the standards of the day. They were uneducated fishermen, tax collecting sinners, a couple of desperate housewives, a wealthy and likely worldly business woman, and another was actually a prostitute. God has been known to choose the foolish things of this world to stir up the ones who think they are wise. [1 Cor. 1:27]
Sometimes these weird people are relegated by the ‘normal’ people to the Island of Broken Toys in The Congregation of the Lord. It’s too bad some of those ‘beautiful’ people miss the blessing they would have gotten from knowing some of these misfits of the Lord. The world and Believers who think they are a cut above some others, will miss the opportunity to know some of God’s most beloved overcomers.
[David ran for his life from Saul and was hiding in the cave of Adullum.] And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered to David; and he became captain over them. 1 Samuel 22:2 [This band of misfits became the core of the fiercest army ancient Israel ever had.]
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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