Monday, January 31, 2011

Pssst, your personality is showing.

I took a personality test last week and was kind of afraid that after I answered question 256, the computer would stall out and say, "Error. Invalid Combination."
It didn't, phew, but the sheer relief at having this odd personality I possess lumped neatly into various boxes was enlightening. It was like somebody outside of me was saying, "No, you're not defective. The ways you respond? That happens for a reason."

No matter who we are--no matter how generic we may seem from the outside, no heed to how we wedge ourselves into the common mold , no credence to the ease with which we slip into uniformity--there is a piece of all of us that seems untouched. Even if it's only a sliver, there is some aspect of each life that diverges from those pressed around it.
It's uncomfortable. Outstanding in it's uniqueness, to the point where it feels as if everyone identifies us as only that slice of ourselves. And worse yet, we draw the conclusion that we're alone in our variety and if they only knew, they'd change their minds about us. Reject us.
There are two things about this odd phenomenon that have come to the forefront of my musings as of late.
First, it is not a flaw. It is a facet. The very rarity of that angle of each of us makes it valuable. Because it means we--you, I--we are uniquely qualified for something. While we may be subdivided into personality components, we each get a different sized dollop of those components. And that's not on accident. I heard someone in the church recently say that God's will for us is to glorify Him.
No argument here. But I think it goes a step farther than that. I think God forms us each with his artist's fingers, adding streaks of crimson, sunshine, cobalt, in the exact quantities needed to reflect Himself in the exact location that He places us. And not just "My Family," but in the relationships and situations and moments. He is way too brilliant to just whip out a fingerpainting and jam it on the fridge. He specializes.
The second thing is this. Those slivers of individuality in each of us, they are not repellent. They are often the most mesmerizing piece of us. When they catch the light people stop to look. And not like a car wreck, more like a prism. I have been blessed with some dear friends and it is not the fact that we like The Loft or Needtobreathe that has brought us past the acquaintance phase so quickly. No, these dear hearts have radiant individuality that runs like a ribbon of silver through who they are. They haven't tried to hide it or excuse it, they let it reflect their Lord. And it draws people to them. To Him.
The second aspect of this is how isolating it can feel. By definition, the uniqueness means no one else feels or experiences this life exactly as we do. By and large, we get the same broad sweeps. We all have fear, hope, longing, joy. But not necessarily for the same reasons or to the same degrees. Definitely not at the same time. So there are those moments where everyone else may as well be on the sun for how understood we feel.
Here's the thing though. At risk of sounding like a scratched CD, God made us that way. Which means....
He gets it. All of it. He knows what this moment feels like to me. With me.
Simple, yes. But when I feel like I'm watching the world from the other side of an impassible membrane, it is this huge comfort.
Thank you, Lord, that you are an artist. Thank you that you shimmer through your people. Even those who don't know it. Thank you for hand-crafting each one into an original and stunning silhouette. Please give us the grace to see your work for it's beauty and when we're in those moments that are untouchable by this world, that you are right there in it with us.
All my love.

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