But that’s where the little voice in my head is so wrong. The church is for people like me. It’s for people who don’t fit the mould. It’s for people who feel as if there’s no box for them. The church is one big box labelled ‘People Who Don’t Fit.’ And Jesus is right there, the most Doesn’t Fitter of all.
I find that there are lots of hard things about being ill. But the one that creeps in and gets me just when I think I’m doing ok is the ‘being different’ one.
In churches there are groups and boxes. You can fit into the children box, or the youth box, or the married box, or the single box, or the mummy box, or the blokes who go to the men’s breakfast box, or the women that work box. But where’s the box for me? Sure, in one way I fit into the married box but in that box there are the young married with careers, then the married with children, then the older marrieds. All the sub-boxes. And I feel left out. Where is the box for people who aren’t like other people?
The little voice in my head is good at showing me my differences.
You don’t have a career.
You don’t have children.
You don’t have the things normal people have.
You don’t fit in.
You don’t belong here.
Show me a normal person and I’ll show you someone with problems, someone who isn’t like anyone else, someone who at some point has been left out. I’ll show you someone who Jesus made a box for.
Being different is hard, there’s no getting around it. But once you realise that we’re all different, once you realise that Jesus is different, it’s not so hard after all.