I remember when normality use to be attractive and I feared anything abnormal. But God shattered my desire of normality with an abnormal daddy’s girl. Today, my view of normal and abnormal is radically different.
Society’s View of Normal
Commercials are helping people determine the needs of society. Movies are influencing people’s expectations with their fairy tale endings and heroic finishes. And photographers are painting pictures of what bodies should be desired. All the while, a template of normality is being subconsciously stamped into our minds.
Society’s view of normal has been greatly influenced by media, celebrities, and cultural trends. Today society has gone to reality shows and social media to shape their view of normal. This is part of the cultural trend to shape normality, but there are other normalities that have been in existence for 10, 50, and 1000 years.
And my daughter has fallen outside of that normality that has existed for hundreds of years.
My Abnormal Daughter
Fayth was born with Down syndrome, a heart abnormality, and had open-heart surgery at 3 months old. She is not culturally abnormal, but universally abnormal. She is not like most other children. She is different than our youngest son. By all understandings of society’s normal, Fayth is abnormal.
It took her 4 months to learn to walk after her first step. She is 4 now and still learning to piece words together. She is shorter than the rest of her class. Her learning curve is quite large. Fayth is abnormal.
On the flip side though, Fayth is very passionate. She unconditionally loves people and desires to express her love through continual hugs and kisses. She independently raises her hands while listening to worship music. She has taught my wife, Stephanie, and I to be more patient. She expresses nonjudgmental forgiveness. She laughs alone in her bed at night with the lights out. She loves, loves, loves her younger brother Stephen. She giggles when we say, “Jesus loves you.” FAYTH…IS…ABNORMAL.
But who ever said abnormal was bad? Why do people cringe at the abnormal label? Well, at least I did before we had Fayth.
Then, somewhere over the past 5 years, God redefined my view on normality. In other words, He SHATTERED my normality to reveal His GREATNESS in abnormality. Abnormality, the margins of life, and uniqueness has now become beautiful to me
GOD DOES A LOT OF HIS BEST WORK THROUGH ABNORMALITIES.
The Abnormality Worth Striving For
God continually used people in scripture that were abnormal. Moses was slow of speech. Jeremiah was too young. Mary was also too young and a virgin. David was a murderer and adulterer. Paul was responsible for killing many Christians. Peter was, well, he was Peter.
None of them are the normal qualified pastor of today. Interesting.
So, are they really abnormal? Paul says in Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” If these people’s citizenship was in the world, then yes, they were abnormal. But if their citizenship was in heaven like Paul says, then it changes the “normal” scorecard. Citizenship has a great impact on our view of normal.
God is holy and His kingdom is holy. Holy means set apart. Would it be safe to say holy is different? Wait. What? Could holy actually mean abnormal? Yes.
GOD’S KINGDOM IS HOLY and HOLY IS ABNORMAL TO THE WORLD.
Let me remind you how I described Fayth:
- Unconditionally loving
- Loves her brother
- Laughs in solitude
- Teaches her parents patience
- Worships God
- Overjoyed by Jesus’ love
Now, who is abnormal?
Fayth is very normal when understanding her citizenship is in heaven. Maybe there is a better normal worth striving for.
God shattered my view of normal by introducing me to the world’s abnormality that truly is His kingdom’s normal.