It happened almost exactly thirty-two years ago today.
Alone in my living room, I went to the window for the last time. And on this particular morning, I did so out of obedience.
At first, I thought I’d heard wrong. After all, my loving Father wouldn’t ask me to return to a place of pain–where I stood on tip-toe, peering through glass into a space I was never invited to enter, a room I’d named…
But I’d been learning to hear His voice, discern between His and the many voices that vied for my attention. And in those quiet times in that bright orange rocker, with Bible open, pen hovering over the pages, He’d been faithful to meet me. Speak to me. Hold me.
And, in turn, I’d come to trust Him with my broken places.
So, on that cold Kentucky morning, when I heard Him say, “Return to the window,” it only took a moment to determine it was Him.
I’ll admit. I did ask Him, “Really?” Not so much with Zechariah disbelief but more with Mary amazement–like that of one with wide-eyed wonder inquiring–
“How can this be?”
But He was persistent and said again, “Go.” So I did.
And in that place once more in my mind, peering in the pane to see what I’d seen so many times before, there they were. All those people, going about their daily lives in a land of normalcy that I longed, too, to know.
Or so I thought. But God was up to something new.
Before I could linger too long, He said–
Again, “What?” came my reply. (Had I heard Him correctly?)
“Trust me. Turn.”
And so I did–a pivot that put the window to my rear, to see for the first time where I truly was.
The only word for it…
And I ran, ran toward Jesus, to hear Him say–
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 NIV).
That’s the day I departed Normal and entered a new land–a territory called…
And my precious Savior has guided me each day since, imperfect though I am.
Yes, peculiar as I am.
After all, I’m looking more and more…
The following poem was inspired on 1/10/23 when I learned that it was “National ‘Peculiar People’ Day.” It seemed the perfect time to pen a poem about my journey to freedom, when I embraced being a peculiar person too!
I remember standing at a window bay,
And to it I returned, day after day…
After day after day.
On tip-toe, I’d watch
Those carrying about their lives–
Figurative folks, some whom I admired,
Even wondered about at times.
There were those I knew,
While others were strangers,
And though I was sad,
They didn’t present dangers.
This went on for years.
Until the day I heard Him say,
I heard Him say truly–
“Do what?” was my reply.
After all, the window was familiar.
Those within, even if unknown, were family.
And so I asked…
To turn was to trade,
And that was quite scary.
Would that make me a traitor?
I was, in truth, leery.
Still, He said it again,
Again He said, “Turn.”
And then, like the echo
From under water, I heard–
“See! I am doing a new thing!”
Wise words from Isaiah 43:19,
And for me.
“Me?” I questioned my King.
For so long, I’d peered longingly through the pane
Wishing I’d find normalcy like all those within.
Yet, each visit left me more and more alone–
The irony of that visceral response never hit home.
Yes, one always on the outside,
Always looking inward,
Never invited to enter
The room I’d named one word—
And what was His invitation?
That call to turn?
That ‘new thing’ He desired to do?
The lesson I’d learn?
It started with a step–
An obedient act of trust.
I could stay and never see
Just what it was He had for me…
Or I could turn,
Could take that step
And come to know His secrets kept.
And so I did.
I turned around
And there discovered I’d been found.
I wasn’t lost,
Had never been.
The window, an idol, had become for me…
Indeed, something that separated me from Him.
I’d been looking to others in search of my worth,
But wound up empty,
More alone than ever
On this earth.
My longing for normalcy,
To feel I fit in,
Made me focus on others,
And not upon Him.
When I turned around,
Ran head-long through sunshine
I heard Jesus laugh,
“Dear child, you are Mine!
He continued, “Let’s be honest,
I was far from normal.
That’s what people called Me…
“When I hung out with hookers
And ate with the homeless…
Laid hands on the lame man
Set free the possessed…
And I’ve called you to the same,
I desire no less.
“With it comes joy in place of sadness,
And peace, yes peace, in place of your strife.
That’s the ‘new thing’ I’ll do,
Yes, I’ll do with your life.
“So flee from that window,
And do not return.
You’re not made for ‘normal,’
That’s not your concern.
“Be peculiar like Me–
Be strong when you’re weak.
Be kind when it’s hard.
Shun pride and be meek…
“Love when it’s tough,
Even when you are wounded
And discover I’m always,
Yes, always enough!”
That’s what He said on that day that I turned.
And though it took time, the lesson I’ve learned
Is that normal is really not what I desire,
But that which ignites,
Which burns like a fire…
Is to be different like Jesus–
To weep when He weeps.
To love what He loves,
And believe that He keeps…
Me close to His heart
Where I hear His heart beat
And then march to that tempo,
To keep dancing feet…
In a world that might think that I’m strange
Or quite odd.
Yes, peculiar, like Him–
My Friend, Abba God.
And now I’m quite happy with not fitting the ‘norm’
In fact, I’m quite comfortable with a shape and a form
That resemble my Savior,
The One who first called, saying…
“Turn from Room Normal.
Though some think you odd…
“Choose to be different as you walk in My ways.
And come to love much this Peculiar Place
That’s home, but not quite, as you walk out your days
In pursuit of the real Home I’m preparing for them
Who love as I love.”
Thank you, sweet Savior, for setting me free! Help me look more and more like You, because peculiar is beautiful. And normal? Well, it’s just a setting on the dryer! (Thanks, Becky, for that analogy!) Amen!
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Maureen this was lovely and pointed and so timely and needed for me to read. Thank you.
I’m thankful for God’s perfect, peculiar timing! He is so good, and I am so thankful He called me from that window! Blessings! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
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