“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
When I first wrote this, my intention was to bring forward the Dutch phrase, “Doe Maar Gewoon”, which translates to “just be normal” and ask ourselves why in this time of the pandemic and extreme positions being taken over something as simple as wearing a protective face covering to protect others (yes, that is the primary purpose – not to protect ourselves first) can we not just be normal about it and be good to those around us, even if it means a slight inconvenience of slipping on a face covering when we go outside? But, then all of the protests across the country erupted, catalyzed from the death of George Floyd, and it made me stop and listen for the word “normal.” For many in our society, whether it be for many reasons, “normal” behavior by others towards them is frightening and at the least, discouraging or disheartening. So, in reality, because of our broken world and sinful nature, normal isn’t enough. We have to fight against normal because the normal of the culture (sadly) is self-centered, self-focused and more apt to default into beliefs and actions that are hurtful towards others and run counter to what we know is right in the eyes of God.
So, this morning, I had to rewrite what I had already written. God speaks in amazing ways as yesterday, our Pastor taught online about Mary and Martha and their moment with Jesus. It was a great word at the right time. You can find it here if you are inclined. It was about putting our faith in action, which yes can be manifested many times as serving our church, our community, etc with time and treasures. Pastor Terry called it “Martha Time”. He’s right. And, I will add that our Martha Time starts with each of our actions and words to be caring of others, for if we don’t care, we will never serve. Our country, our culture, needs us to be abnormal in caring about others right now. We can stop and listen to how someone else is thinking without judging. We can help out when someone needs a hand. We can care enough about someone else to take an extra moment and put ourselves in their shoes as best we can before we decide if they are right or wrong. We won’t solve all our big problems this way for everyone, but we might find that one-by-one, we can help by being abnormal in our level of caring to how everyone else is being.
Reference: Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)