I like characters and New York City has its share of colorful, flamboyant humans. There’s the lady who sings off-key in church. The know-it-all with a booming voice who fantasizes aloud about connecting with the rich and famous he reads about in the New York Post. The kooky teller of tall tales at work. There’s the temperamental preparer, who stashes a decade’s worth of canned goods in her Brooklyn brownstone. The one who constantly shows off her skill with complicated algorithms but who can’t make change in the checkout line. I can introduce you to bold dressers, big talkers, picky eaters, and the one reading Joan Didion’s The White Album for the dozenth time.
I enjoy them all, because I’m one too. I’m always making weird household proclamations, then violating them the next day. I come up with silly meals in a quest to clean out the cabinets and freezer. I’m always forwarding editorials my children won’t read. I rarely switch purses or shoes. I own way too many pieces of black clothing.
I celebrate those that are not poseurs, quacks, or fakers, but who are authentic in their quirkiness. I do better when I embrace God’s creation of me in my own eccentricities, not trying too hard to change myself but trusting that God’s hand did mold me. I imagine God as the potter, cutting, shaping, and tweaking each of us. A handle here, an abrasion there, smooth sides and bumps, laugh lines, intentional creases and good strong connections from the handle to the bowl. Some spots brittle, some smooth, but all works of God’s hand. I like to think that God knows this when we disappoint and that God’s joy in our quirkiness is what gives us our second chance.
Who among your people has God made from a different mold? How can you see them as God does?
Have mercy on me, Lord. I am one of your people. Guide me when I fail you and let me try again. Amen.