I have a good friend who recently taught a Bible class made up of 4-year-olds. The lesson dealt with one of the widows in the New Testament and the teacher asked the children if they knew what a widow was. When they responded to her question with blank stares, she explained a widow like this: "If a man and a woman are married and the man dies, then the woman would be a widow." The children seemed to grasp the concept.

However, one of the little girls went home and, in the course of explaining what she learned in Bible class, told her mother, "I learned that if Daddy dies, then you'll be a weirdo!"

The truth is, God calls all of us as Christians to be "weirdos." A life of faith has always meant living a life that's different from everyone else. The writer of Hebrews tells us that our faith will take us "outside the camp" to the place of disgrace (Hebrews 13:13). We need to come to see ourselves as "outside the camp" in the world's value system. We must accept the fact that in doing so, we will be seen as different from the world — sometimes radically different — but different with a purpose, glorious and redemptive purpose.

I'm not talking here about isolation from the world. We can't be salt and light to the world if we isolate ourselves. But, it's a serious problem when we begin to adopt the same goals of the world, when we're immersed in the things of the world, when we talk like they talk and have the same priorities they do. When that happens, then we become totally indistinguishable from the world. We're no longer different and we've become comfortable "inside the camp." There remains no one to bring hope of God's love to those trapped "inside the camp."

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9 RSV)

We must accept the fact that we will be seen as different!
Just a little food for thought: Are we prepared to be seen as "weirdos" when our faith takes us "outside the camp"?