“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” Romans 12:5
I’m a believer. I’ve known You, Jesus, since I was 15 years old. And in all those years, sometimes I feel like I fit in, and sometimes I don’t. I think my life has been a roller coaster of not fitting in and fitting in. It’s up and down, up and down. I suppose I always fit in somewhere. Sometimes it wasn’t where I wanted to fit in, sometimes it was where I didn’t want to fit in, and sometimes it was a wanting to fit in but not even knowing where. And I still feel that way sometimes, so when I hear someone else say they feel like a “misfit” sometimes, I don’t feel alone in my misfittedness anymore.
Do you know where I found I was a fellow misfit? At prayer meeting Sunday night. My husband and I were finding our seat in church and a friend invited me to sit and pray with them. But I wasn’t sure because maybe I needed to pray with my husband and my girls. So my husband and I went up by the girls. But they already had a group to pray with, so we got shewed away. So back we go where we had an invitation. And the other friend I sat next to said something like, “You can come join the misfits.” And I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
See, this friend is like a “pillar” in our church. She was my music teacher in Highschool, well for the whole school. She’s has a gift for explaining the love of Jesus through music. She has a gift for sharing Jesus any way you look at it. She’s a Sunday School teacher, teaches in our Christian school, is a director of a center encouraging families in the Lord and in life for their unborn child, she’s the choir director, she’s been my mentor, she’s part of so much in the church and the school and the community. She’s the last person that I ever would have expected to feel like a misfit. I would have thought that she knew right where she fit in. So I had to ask. “Do you really feel like a misfit? Why?” And she told me.
What she told me wasn’t anything terrible or bad on anyone’s part. Part lies in the fact that we are different. We hail from different life backgrounds. Some of us are married. Some of us have kids. Some of us are divorced. Some of us come from backgrounds of abuse. Some of us are elderly. Some of us are widows or widowers. Some of us are business minded. Some of us are creative types. Some of us are introverts. Some of us are extroverts. Some of us have Multiple Sclerosis. Some of us have children with handicaps. And most of us are a combination of lots of these things. With so many differences going on, how do we ever fit in?
Jesus, You fit us together. You bring us together when we need it. You sat four people together that night because there was a special need in that group, well, more than one. During our prayer time, there were four hearts that could pray for a very personal need. There were four hearts that fit together closely enough that one could feel safe to share a deep need. And because of one word, the word “misfit”, I have greater compassion for older individuals without partners. And I know that there are others even in my church that I need to be sensitive to because they need me to invite them in to my fellowship.
But what about misfits in Scripture. Are there misfits? I think there were a lot. I think You created us misfits for a reason. I think, if we were all honest, we’re all misfits. And You take us from being misfits to fitting us in, but then You misfit us again so we can be continually refined into Your perfect puzzle. You didn’t design us to be complacent puzzle pieces.
Now that I stop and think about it, there probably isn’t a person in Scripture that wasn’t a misfit. Adam and Eve were the only two individuals that started out fitting and fitting perfectly, but then sin started the misfit process. They went from fitting in, to having to figure it all out. I think Eve was trying to figure out how to fit in again. When her son came I think she was thinking, “Oh, look! I have a son. Now I’ll fit in again.” But that wasn’t the perfect answer either.
I think of Ehud and his left-handedness. In most cultures, left-handedness has always been a misfit kind of thing. I mean Scripture even describes him with words that pretty much say that the Lord raised up a deliverer for Israel whose right hand of power was impeded. Oh, but that means “left-handed.” Because of this misfit trait, he was able to sneak a sword in and assassinate the Moabite king. Judges 20:16 tells of 700 left- handed Benjamite warriors who were deadly accurate with a sling. And then there were the two dozen ambidextrous warriors that came to David’s side. Maybe being a misfit isn’t a misfit after all?
I think of Rahab who was probably a reproach in her city. And she didn’t fit there in their belief any more. She wanted to fit with the Hebrews and their God. One woman out of a whole city saved herself and her family because of being a misfit.
Paul thought he fit in. He might have even thought he could author the book on fitting in to God’s plan. But just because you think you fit in, doesn’t mean you really do. It took an awakening by God to show Paul he wasn’t fitting in. But You, Jesus, were able to mold him to fit in. And he conformed to that shape. Continually.
Mary used to fit in. Joseph saw her outstanding Godly character. But then You invited her into Your bigger plan and she accepted Your molding. Fitting in became hard. I suppose she had to make a decision. Who do I want to fit into? Where do I want to fit?
And that’s the question that I’m posed with. Who do I want to fit into? Where do I want to fit? Am I trying to fit in with other people or am I letting You fit me within You? I’ll admit, sometimes I’m lonely for people who truly understand my heart. But I am NEVER lonely for having You understand my heart. You always understand and You are always present. And sometimes I look and search for someone else who will understand and I think I can find them just by looking. But I can’t. It’s a God thing. You bring us together. Sometimes I just have to wait patiently until You do. Because when You bring misfits together for Your purposes, there is a bond in You that is so deep and so exciting, that it is worth the longest wait. It’s irreplaceable!
I can’t help thinking of those two dozen warriors surrounding David. Those Benjamites were men of renown. They were heroes above heroes. They heard David say how much he missed drinking the water from Hebron. They risked their lives just to bring it to him. He didn’t tell them to. They just cared so deeply for what was on his heart. I know that feeling for others and, God, You have given that kind of feeling to others for me. It makes it so worth being a misfit. It makes it glorious, truly glorious because of what You do between us as you unite us in Your purposes.
In 1 Corinthians 4:10 Paul says, “We are fools for Christ’s sake…” The Message Bible says, “We’re the Messiah’s misfits.” But I think this whole “misfit” thing goes deeper. Fool is a much stronger word than “misfit.” It’s from “moros” in Greek which is basically calling you a moron. How’s that for being a supreme misfit? It’s like people look at us and say, “I can’t believe you are such a moron that you would believe that Jesus would offer Himself a sacrifice for you, and that you can believe that He rose up from the dead, or that you can believe that He intervenes in Your every little affair of life! You have no idea what reality is. You are living in a pipe-dream! Wake up!”
But Paul was awake. He was seeing things the way they really were. Because he could now see things in Your perspective, God. He was fitting in where You always intended us to fit in, back where Adam and Eve started out, in You. “He saw that God took what the world considered worthless and stupid and made it into the glory of His presence. All of the world’s values turned upside-down. Happiness in desperation, grief, hunger, oppression and loss. Joy in suffering and trials. It just doesn’t make any sense – unless you have God’s perspective.” (Skip Moen) But that’s right where we fit now, in the middle of Your perspective.
I don’t want to be just any misfit. I want to be a misfit after Your own heart, Lord. I want to be the kind of misfit David was, who clung to You. Actually, I want to follow Paul’s example as a misfit following what the world considers the biggest misfit- You. I want to give up everything to fit in with You. Paul did. “Paul gave up everything the world considered ‘sane’ in order to live a life of divine insanity. If Jesus was crazy to die for people who hated him, then Paul was ready to join the asylum with Him. “ If You are the Chief of Misfits, then I want to sign on under You.
Lord, I want to thank You for showing me the glorious nature of being a misfit in You because it all stems from Your glorious nature, You, the Chief Misfit. You were despised on my behalf, on behalf of a world that hated You, yet You loved to the end and You are still loving and calling people like me to join Your misfit band. And there is no other family like this family. We would die for each other. We would risk our lives for each other’s benefit. We are open and transparent with one another. We walk alongside each other no matter the depth of the trial. And we are never alone, because we share You. And in You, we have eyes that see each other’s needs and we have hearts and lives filled with Your compassion that acts.
Yes, I’m a misfit. But I was designed this way so that I would perfectly fit in with my fellow misfits. And another truth is that I need my fellow misfits as much as they need me. The puzzle can’t be completed without us both. Yes, it’s a gloriously beautiful fit I never would have imagined on my own. And I can’t wait to see how You keep on fitting me in, Lord! Misfits, rise and shine together, because it’s what we were created for!