When I attended JMU there was a guy there named Freak, yep, Freak. Now, his real name was Jason or Marcus but everyone and I mean everyone, even our college professors called him Freak. He skated around campus on a skateboard, but it was his hair that drew all the attention. Everyday, Freak styled his hair into a mohawk with five 12 inch long green spikes. Our college campus was and still is predominantly a preppie school, so Freak’s bold attire stood out. One day I had to ask, “How do you do that” as I touched the pointy end of his hair. He said he used green food coloring, Elmer’s glue, and a vacuum. Freak and I were both majored in Biology and we spent many hours in a study group studying Physics and Organic Chemistry. While his boldness may have been a turn off for some, I got past it, and found Freak to be incredibly smart and kind.
Freak (noun) -An unusual object -A person who has withdrawn from normal behavior to pursue one interest -A devoted follower or enthusiast
As children we are often told to “just be yourself”, but what happens to us as adults? When do we stop being ‘ourself’ and when do we begin to act like everyone else just to fit in? Would we have the courage to be bold in our faith as Freak was bold in his attire?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. -Romans 1:16
Recently I was with some friends and they asked me a tough question, they asked “What do you struggle with?” A deep question, not the kind of question where my answer is I struggle with keeping up with the laundry (which in fact I do). My honest reply was I struggle with approval and acceptance. What if people read what I write and treat me differently or begin to act weird around me. I want God’s approval for everything I do. I need to be reminded of what God says about me and that his opinion of me does not change…ever.
You are accepted by the Beloved. -Romans 15:7
Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed. -Psalms 119:41-48 (Message version)
Creating Red Chair Moments and sharing openly and honestly as I do has been a bold step. In my own little way, I feel as though I am being freakish. As my running partner said to me this morning, “You always got to be willing to give someone a chance.” Perhaps you need to give God’s unconditional love a chance and when you do you can be a freak like me!
“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” – Romans 1:12