Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Polecat in a Perfume Parlor

I promise I do not go out looking for blog subject matter.  It sometimes just sneaks up on me, sometimes scares the crap out of me.  That reminds me of talking to another missionary family recently.  They were almost scared to admit watching a popular TV show because it was "not missionary approved."  Admitting we are truly human, that we watch things we perhaps should not...or that we use words like crap (or worse...not that I ever would when coming around a corner and a dog rushes the gate and barks at me) runs the risk of losing friends, supporters, respect, or some pride?  This family did not have that problem at all...find upstanding folk in my opinion, but it did strike me...that we live in a society that for the most part wants us to put on airs, not be honest in showing who we really are especially as it relates to failures, struggles, beliefs...it really is a long list. 

I love learning new words and turns of phrase.  I heard "a polecat in a perfume parlor" the other day...and I could have teared up a bit for how it hit me that it described my position for the moment.  The expression relates directly to just being out of place (polecat=type of skunk) and in many ways I feel that deep inside: 
1.  Considered spiritual by some, seemingly not spiritual enough to others, or not enough compared to others (never play the comparison game by the way when it creeps in your mind...however you come out, you lose, it is a quickly poisoning thought trail.) 
2.  Culturally.  I love it here and feel like I try to adapt, but there are a myriad of ways where the ways here still clash with the culture in which I was born.  Example...hearing someone I respect telling a story of a woman beaten by her husband down South quite severely and when asked how it happened in the hospital her husband interjected to tell the doctor "she needed educating, and I educated her!" and how there is nothing the doctor can do...there is no obligation, responsibility or right for a doctor in that case to call the police.  He was laughing about it, albeit in a frustrated way...I was just beside myself. 
3.  Friends.  Friends are hard to have for me it seems, and some of that has to do with just literally being out of place or spread out over a few thousand miles.  It is quite odd actually, adding as well the fact that we are busy, not eager to venture out much at night here, and it makes it hard just here in this city of over a million people as well. 
4.  Just being honest.  I find it difficult to post on certain social media sites, as it seems oddly not well received to be gritty and honest there...it really just does not fit.  Even when asking for prayer, the few times it happens...the reason for prayer is seldom mentioned, that would be too open and raw. 
5. (You saw this coming right?) Being a Christ follower makes you a polecat in the world's perfume parlor as well, at least from its point of view. 

Sometimes I feel like Pig-Pen in the Christmas rehearsal where Frieda says to him "You're an absolute mess. Just look at yourself!" and he answers... "On the contrary, I didn't think I looked THAT good!" 

Is that bad?  Is it normal?  Is it ok?  Well, right now I am content with acknowledging it. 


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