Sunday, June 03, 2012
Kathryn was standing beside me in Wal-Mart last night, and she struck up a conversation with a fellow shopper. The lady said, "You are SOOO BEAUTIFUL; do you want to be a model when you grow up?" Kathryn looked at me quizzically. I don't think she knows what 'model' means other that 'you need to 'model' good behavior for your brother.' The lady gushed on: "I'm going to be looking for you on TV! You will be a model- you're so beautiful!" Context helped Kathryn out at this point, and she said matter-of-factly, "I've never even been in a beauty pageant." The woman turned on me in an accusatory tone, "Why not, Mom?! Why not, Mom?!" Well, she asked, didn't she?
I smiled and said, "Because that's not the kind of values we're trying to place in our children. We're teaching them to be beautiful at heart and to please the Lord." Kathryn's nodding and interjects, "That means to have a good attitude." At this point, the poor woman (well, she DID ask, so I don't feel too bad ;o) became very religious and began saying stuff to Kathryn about "if you have Jesus, that's all you need" and then she quickly disappeared.
I also had a conversation with a friend yesterday with whom I was going to a Mary Kay facial demo. She asked me to please, please not tell the woman that I don't wear makeup. She had brought wet wipes for me in case they wanted to give me a makeover. God forbid I embarrass her by being DIFFERENT.
My kids are the only modest kids that take swim lessons at the YMCA, and mom's swimsuit is a skirted swimmer from WholesomeWear so I definitely will stand out. Yesterday a coworker asked me what I wear in the pool and was shocked to find out that I cover up. (Because I don't NEED to, in her opinion- as if because your body looks OK, you have a right to unclothe it?)
You know, I've been different a very, very long time. Not just different in how I look externally, but in the values I stand for and in the way I parent my children. In fact, I've found that it's not enough to be different from your average sinner, but when you live a careful life before the Lord, you'll be different from the vast majority of self-professing 'Christians,' too. Is that OK?
Some people feel that in order to reach a sinful world, I need to be more relevant. I need to blend in a little more, so my differences don't shoo them away. The children of Israel were made VERY DIFFERENT from the surrounding people groups by the law of God in their lives. Their differences set them apart and were meant to be an evangelistic tool. I find that my differences do this even today, even in Birmingham. As a bit of a social butterfly, I talk to everybody (poor Nathan ;o). Questions come up all the time. (Actually, far less about my appearance and far more about my children's character- thank God they are a good testimony!) I want my children to grow up seeing Mom not shrinking around town, rushing home to 'be myself,' hemming and hawing through honest questions of people we meet. In trying not to offend, I can easily teach them that the differences are a bad thing. But they're not. And you know, a genuine smile, a relaxed chat, a few minutes later, and 95% of the time the person walks away saying, "That's really something to think about. I wish I had...."
Vive la Difference!
Posted by Charity at 7:18 AM