Two years ago, (12/05/2014), I took a Facebook quiz that gave me probably the most accurate results I’ve ever gotten from any of the tons of hokey Facebook quizzes I’ve ever taken. The quiz was entitled “Which Justice League Superhero Are You?” Much to my husband’s great delight, I got “Wonder Woman” (he’s a huge fam). Normally, I am a fan of being associated with anything that my husband is a fan of because – ya know – it’s been 23 years and I like him and he likes me and, well, why not?! And besides, what girl in her right mind wouldn’t want to be Wonder Woman. But before I get too off-topic, or start “fan-girling” (as my kids would say), let me tell you: what got me most “excited” (thought I’m not quite sure that’s the right world) was the description behind the results. Here is VERBATIM what I was told:
You are an idealist and a mediator, able to see and respect different viewpoints and to encourage others to embrace acceptance and compromise. You have a deep love for people in all of their diversity and empower those who are underrepresented and less powerful. You are honest and expect others to be honest in turn, even if the truth is painful. Some people are intimidated by your ideals and consider you to be a radical, but you will never let ignorance and cruelty stop you from believing in what’s right. Others might consider you a naïve dreamer, but you are wise beyond your years and your selfless defense of other people is invaluable.
Now…who wouldn’t want that kind of description?! Right?!
Before I go any further, let me just say, for the most part (and I mean, like 99% of the time, the results I get from these quizzes are bogus. And I only take them for fun. However, I always answer the questions honestly simply to see how accurate an assessment is being offered.
This one is extremely accurate, of me at least. And in case you’re wondering, NO, I don’t think it’s accurate because I want it to be. But I have had many people come into my life over my 42 years and the ones I’ve had the time to get to know the best, and who’ve gotten to know me truly, have all said the same thing.
However, lest you think I’m about to break my arm patting my own back, I would like to tell you why I am sharing these quiz results with you.
For most of my life, I have wanted to be a part of the in-crowd but was relegated to the shadows. For just as long, I have known this was treatment NOBODY deserves. But because most people believe they are bound by stupid, societal, “supposed to” rules which perpetually feed an unfair and imbalanced caste system, we are all subjected to various forms of “ASSIMILATE OR DIE.”
However, I have not lived my entire life on the outskirts. In fact, I have been right in the thick of the in-crowd a couple of times in my life, and MOSTLY I was happy to be there. I felt like I had finally made it, like I had received all I had ever wanted. You know what I found? “ASSIMILATE OR DIE” is in full effect within the group too. While there are profoundly unbreakable rules in place designed to keep outsiders OUTSIDE the group, there are also just as many rules in place to keep insiders to the group in their place.
I never enjoyed being an outsider. I always thought people surely must not know what they were missing. Cliques were so stupid. However, as much as I couldn’t stand being an outsider, the constraints of being part of the in-crowd are worse FOR ME.
The safety of the in-crowd hinges on a willingness to jealously and zealously guard the borders of the group. But I could not do it. I would not.
People are people. Status doesn’t matter. In-crowd, outsider, doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is your story.
What’s more?! I’ve felt more accepted by outsiders more often than I’ve ever felt accepted by the in-crowd. And the kicker: I didn’t have to sell my soul to get it. Furthermore, I’ve learned some of my most profound theological and spiritual lessons from the outsiders.
You see, one of my closest friends was THE major outcast in the town where she grew up. Another dabbled in witchcraft in her youth. Yet another has tattoos the likes of which would have been looked down upon by many of my more “supposed-to” prone friends. And the man I’m married to is someone I’d have never been allowed to date. One thing they all have in common (besides me) is they all have a story I’ve seen many folks balk at getting to know because they are good, “supposed to” stories.
Being part of the in-crowd, too often, has required that I set aside such foolishness as thinking everyone’s story deserves to be heard. Maybe it is naïve of me, but I’ve always thought the passages in Scripture where Jesus healed lepers and touched the most untouchable ought to be our leading examples of how to treat people. If Jesus could minister to lepers, prostitutes, and tax collectors, surely those who call themselves Christians ought to be ministering to the addicts, prostitutes, homeless, etc.; to ask them to obey Scripture by not preferring the rich and giving them a seat of great honor in our temples.
If that makes me naïve or a radical so be it. If it makes me an idealist, FINE. If it’s intimidating, so be it. My only response is: if my way of thinking somehow threatens your way of life, perhaps that says more about you than me. Personally, I’ve spent enough of my life apologizing for believing what the Bible says and choosing to be obedient while good people go unknown and outcast for failing to live up to the fickle and arbitrary standards of a small group of “supposed to,” clique-ish folks who think they’ve arrived when really, we’re all still just trying to make it.
Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God and see how many interesting but saved-by-grace outcasts He leads you to.
You’ll be amazed!