Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Welcome to the Freakshow!

There can be many things one doesn't have to look hard to notice. In our fallen world, one thing that's exceedingly clear is that words hurt.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
The logic is more broken in that statement than the bones.
After a lifetime of being verbally assaulted for being very different, I have a load of experience on the painful power of words. One such word that tends to be a punch in the face is "freak", something that I've been called at one time or another. And yet, strangely enough, I've grown accustomed to it. Not in the sense of "Great, getting called freak again, oh well, just let it happen," but rather in accepting that I am, in fact, a social freak.
In other words, I use a socially demeaning term in different context than is intended, and it tends to throw people off. From the popular times of hippies, Christians were called "Jesus Freaks," at first an insult. Then dc Talk came around and used the term as an anthemic proclamation ("I'm not ashamed to eb a Jesus Freak!"), though there may be one or two somewhere that hates that use of the term (like the curator for the hyperlegalistically religious jesus-is-savior.com, Dr. David Stewart, using the Webster dictionary's definition to justify his hatred of the term).
I had a boss in my first job in OK that, when he introduced me to the new co-workers, would call me "Jason, a.k.a., Jesus Freak." Since he knew my typical response, I think he always pruposely said that so he could enjoy my response.
"Hey now, get it right, it's Trouble-making Jesus Freak!"
But now for another thought, one that uses the viewpoint of postmodernism to a unique advantage. Perspective.
On the back cover of Winter, there's a tagline about being different.
"We're all freaks, it's just a matter of perspective."
Well, that is true. But, more recently (Winter was released back in 2011), there's been a new show released on AMC, called Freakshow.
In the first episode, George Bell (America's 2nd tallest man) comes to see the curator of the Venice Beach Freakshow. The curator, Todd Ray, has his blood family (his wife, son, and daughter) alongside his extended family, who are the freakshow. He doesn't push them away like most of society might, he accepts them as part of his family in general, and they are grateful that somehow out there understands. George, at first, is highly reluctant to join, since the term "freak" had always been used at him negatively in reference to his height and crude jokes made at him. He let it be known how he feels about it, and Todd Ray understands completely and lets it be known, sensitively. Close to the end, George accepts how these people are, despite the strange looks he's gotten here and there throughout the episode, and is glad there's not just one person, but a group of people willing to accept him no matter what. And joins the Freakshow.

My only question is this (and it's in relation to the church): whatever happened to us accepting people wherever they are in life? There's church doctrines that prevent people from even entering the church doors if they are not already a Christian, let alone if they're curious about something.
Well, world, I may be a Jesus Freak, but I'm also just a social freak, very different in every way and am not afraid of showing people acceptance, no matter how "different" they may be.
Welcome to the Freakshow!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A V-Day Project

For my first post, I'd like to introduce an innovative project for this year's Valentine's Day.
Having never had a girlfriend for Valentine's Day, I have pesonal experience on how depressing it can be to have no one around that loves (save for family), so I'd like to do something different.
This Valentine's Day, if you're a Believer in the Bible, make RANDOM V-Day cards that don't strictly say "I love you," but have them be randomly inspirational. Write something in them (for fun, whatever amount of cards you're making, make sure no two have the same statement) and make the statements Biblically correct, not politically correct.
Our world is entirely focused on hedonism- that is, "all for me." Sadly, I know some churches that are like that. This will be different. Make sure to have the central theme of each statement be about having love and compassion for them. If you want the statements to be subtle, go for it, if you want to make them referential, by all means do it.
Not everyone has a "significant other" to be with, and some, because of the world's expectations for Valentine's Day, will no longer feel like they have anything to live for. Prove them wrong compassionately.
Up for this project? Just remember, if you go for it, be serious about it, don't hold anything back and definitely have no fear ing iving the cards to any given, random stranger you meet anywhere.