If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd.Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity
Elisabeth Elliot has a great way of just saying it like it is.
I remember my first trip to California. As a girl from Tennessee, I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb (a southern euphemism). I couldn’t help the feeling. Though I knew I was still in the same country, it seemed I’d crossed an ocean.
Was the perceived big C on my chest for country or Christian? It was hard to tell, but I knew they saw it, and it felt odd, indeed.
Now, I will say I’ve been back to that strange state (forgive me for any of you from there) many times since, and the feeling has waned, but only slightly.
California isn’t the only place I’ve been where the “C” has burned in my chest; Thailand was another location. Though I lived over twenty years in the Muslim world, it would be a trip to Asia where I felt the most out of place, because the “gods” of the world were extraordinarily strong there.
Do I like feeling odd and out of place? Not particularly, but it’s becoming an increasingly commonplace feeling for me, even in my home state of what was the Bible Belt. Why?
Because purity of heart is becoming a lost art in this world.
However, there’s really nothing much new under the sun, and James helps us to realize that many have walked this road before us when he says,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.James 1:2-3 NIV
It seems the more I try to live for Christ and like Christ, the more my faith is tested. I’ve discovered that, during my twenty years among the heathen, the heathen expanded at home. There’s no other way to say it.
As sin increases in our world, we, as Christ-followers, are becoming the last defense. I’m learning to persevere for the cause of Christ as the battle lines are drawn, what about you?
Grace and Peace
2 thoughts on “Very Odd Indeed”
Yes, I agree. Our pastor has been doing a series of 18 lessons from Ecclesiastes and our Wednesday Bible study has been on Tell Somebody. Those of us who wear the C in Alabama also appear very odd. Our pastor is encouraging us to keep our eyes “above the sun” on Jesus and not “under the sun” on the things of this world. And that is very odd to many!!
Thanks for sharing, Eugenia.