Tuesday, December 9, 2008

That guy.

You ever met one of those people that are just...well...odd? You're not sure if there's something mentally wrong with them, or if they're just a little on the recluse side of life. I find it hard even being in a room with "that guy." What if I have to communicate with him? What if I have to try to hold a conversation, when I know it's gonna end awkwardly? What if I end up feeling sorry for the guy and then feel obligated to say yes when he asks for a ride to 7-11?
Those are questions I always find myself asking when I'm in a room with "that guy."

Well, here I am sitting in Heritage Hall at the Vineyard. I look over to one of the many tables littering the middle of the room, and low-and-behold, there sits "that guy."
Now, I don't like to judge people. I think it's a pretty cheap shot, mostly 'cause I think you can't/shouldn't read a book by its cover. But I can tell you right now that I judged this guy 100% the first time I saw him. He had it all: long hair, off-brand baseball cap, semi-creepy hand motions, and a slurring, droning voice.
I'm the type of guy where when I see someone like this, I start thinking what I would do when he pulls a gun on a 2nd grade passerby. Maybe I'm paranoid. Or maybe I'm just safe. Point being, I sized this guy up immeadiatly. I heard his ultra-awkward conversations with people walking by, and was able to judge him down to his least common denominator.

Then a cliche thought hit me: what if "that guy" could hear what I was thinking? Would he appreciate it? Truth be told, he'd most likely start to feel hostile towards me. And probably within a couple of seconds, lol.
So then the gears in my head began to turn. What was good and Christlike about how I assesed "that guy?" What was bad and...well I guess Satanesque would be the opposite of Christlike. So we'll go with that. Satanesque.
I guess my point here is this: how can I love this guy the way Christ loves his bride when he's such a creap? I guess that's where God comes in, right? There is no possible way I could love this guy. The human side of me rejects him with all that is in me. The only way for this man to be loved, is not through me, but through God.
And that opens up another internal discussion inside me. If I can't love this guy, how can I love anyone? As Donald Miller puts it in his book Blue Like Jazz- love is not a currency. It's not something to be spent on select few people, and witheld from the "that guy" audience.
So if love is not currency- not something that can be spent or selectively given, what exactly is it that I choose to give and withold? Is it love counterfit? Is it some misconstrued "like"? I really don't know the answers to these questions; I'm still reasoning with them myself.

What I do know is this:
Love, that is true love, is of God. God is love, and because of that everybody who has God has the ability to truly love. When we have Christ we don't have the ability to withold love. Maybe that other fake stuff, but not love. When we are spot on with Christ, love should work through us from God into other people.
Makes sense to me at least.

So yeah, "that guy" is pretty weird. He's not the type of guy I'd enjoy talking to while sipping Starbucks and listening to a Potterybarn album. And yet I am still to let Christ's love seep through my poors of hatred and humanism and wash over all 6'2" of "that guy's" gangly frame.

Isn't it funny when you hear Christians try to use PC terms about people that are straight up weirdos? I think PC terms in the church are funny in the first place.
Pardon me if I sound blunt throughout this post and those to come, but I truly do think that sometimes to be real one must be blunt.

But maybe that's just me.

Listen to this post


  1. "What if I end up feeling sorry for the guy and then feel obligated to say yes when he asks for a ride to 7-11?"

    This is most often how I feel and why I find myself not interacting with That Guy. And would he really appreciate it, I wonder, or am I just being used? Would it be loving to interact with him, listen to him, or is he wasting both of our time? Sometimes no. Sometimes when That Guy's down at the park at a feeding program, he needs someone to talk to. But sometimes I think when he has his sign and his bike loaded with a sleeping bag, he's made that choice, and he's not looking for sympathy or love (or empathy), he's looking for money.

    I think it comes down to what the Father's doing in those situations. If I know I'd feel dirty not interacting with him, I think it might be the time. If, however, I discern that this situation is a fruitless one, love doesn't necessarily require conversation.

    Or at least that's what I think today.

  2. ^ Heh. Typical Christian, trying to excuse his sin. Jesus wants us to be shining with love, not picky do-gooders.

  3. I think you're right Anonymous, and at the same time does God want us to enable people?

    What I mean is this: you see a guy with a sign and a bike with a sleeping bag loaded on (example given above). Would "loving" that guy be giving him money? Or would that be setting him up for failure because it feeds the alcohol problem he's been having for the last 15 years? I'm not generalizing here, I'm just saying that, in the defense of David, he is talking about the difference between "loving" someone and enabling them.

    Just a thought