"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Normal

It is amazing how seamlessly my perspective has changed.

What was once unfamiliar or even quaint about my new home, has become quite common-place or normal. When we first moved here, we had a family joke that called all our new experiences our "new normal". But, these interesting, sometimes odd and difficult, not-normal-things... we knew ... would some day be normal. And, now they are.

I have lived here now almost two years. I noticed on my drive to town this morning that everything around me felt, and looked, normal. Ordinary. Every day. I wasn't watching, observing incessantly, or trying to understand my environment. It just was. And, it was ... normal.

The fact remains that many things around me are not "normal" or average things that you might see in my home culture. There are difference in abundance here. There are things that a year ago I didn't understand or that would catch my attention as being strange, or confusing. The things haven't changes, of course! I have. And, my perspective has changed.

Now all those strange, odd or perplexing things feel ordinary and don't catch my eye. Normal. Every day.

I remember this same feeling in other places we have lived. I can distinctly recall the very moment I realized it when we lived in Turkey. After making my way to church on a the bus, I realized that not once did I worry about my environment, my language, my ability to understand... It had all become normal to me, average, and truly stress-less. I remember this in Turkey. And, today, I had that feeling here.

And, that is a comforting feeling. It feels "home-ish". It feels settled.

Today I wondered over this feeling and thanked God for it.

As I pondered, the question came to my mind, What normal thing on this earth would in heaven be "odd" or "confusing" or even "wrong"?

What feels normal in this world, to me, simply because it is common-place and ordinary? Simply because I have lived here for nearly forty years, what odd-non-heaven-like things just feel okay and normal?

I wonder what it might be like to come from heaven to earth. To tread and trek through the strangeness and difficulty of this earth... this sin soaked planet. A planet that seems so very normal to me, ...well, normal, a lot of the time. Did Jesus struggle to keep His perspective? Did the sinful, harsh, odd things around Him stop catching His eye at any point? Or was it always jarring for Him?

What do I look at everyday that I might never look at in heaven? And, why don't I blink... or feel shocked...

I do love that I feel settled here in this new country, this new place. I am touched by God with this important step in adjusting to our new home. I am grateful and I count it as one of my deep, significant, today-blessings.

But, I don't want to get too comfortable. May it all, all around me, this world,... may it never become too normal. May I never feel it "ordinary" to see that which shouldn't be seen... May the things that don't belong in heaven never become common-place or every-day in my heart. May these sin-soaked-earth-things always remain strange to me.

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