People are odd. They are so quirky and strange and so particular about the most bizarre things. It would be easy—and some days very tempting—to adopt a secluded lifestyle. Shutting everyone out can feel like the smartest move some days. It’s not always easy to like people.
Let’s just be honest: some people are annoying. And some are just plain weird. Others simply grate on our nerves and we may not even know why. It’s very easy to become cruel and un-accepting of these types of people. After all, we just don’t click, we don’t connect. And so we give ourselves permission to avoid them, to ignore them, to say subtle things when they are around to clue them in to the fact that they don’t really fit. Our truest heart hope can easily—and sadly—become one of hoping that they just stop coming around.
Why are we so intolerant of someone who walks their own way, who sees from their own perspective? Why are we so uncomfortable with one who is, by the standards of what we’ve defined as normal, a little weird?
There are a lot of odd people in the world, but when did odd become offensive to us? Are we so important, so grand, that we are no longer willing to “stoop down” to those who are socially less capable of blending like we do?
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not think you are superior. Romans 12:16
If asked, most of us would adamantly deny that we think ourselves superior. It’s not a trait that we desire or find attractive in others. We don’t intend to be or live this way. But the truth is that it can definitely be a temptation. Especially with the marginalized of society. The people who have never connected well with the world around them. Those that don’t talk or act like what’s deemed right and normal. We all have those types of people in our lives, no matter how hard we try to oust them.
Proverbs has some sobering words that remind us that they are just like us, that they need the same as we do.
“What a person desires is unfailing love…” Proverbs 19:22
This is everyone. The odd people in our lives as much as us; the irritating and annoying ones and the ones we like. Everyone is looking for love. Unfailing love. And yes, ultimately that is found only in Jesus. But aren’t we to be his hands and feet? Are we not called to be Jesus in a world that—without even knowing it—is desperate for him and his unfailing love?
Maybe it is time we stop focusing on the annoying or awkward traits of those people who just seem to keep coming around us and start seeing them as God sees them. They are as valuable and precious to him as you or I. They are as wonderfully loved as we are; and as desperate for love.
The funny thing is that as strange as I find others around me and as odd and difficult as I see them, they often see me the same way. I’m not easy to be around either. We all come with baggage and history and it affects how we interact and how we relate to everyone. And ultimately we all just want to be loved.