Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And What is Normal?

I recently ran across a very nice, formal looking sign at the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant that read "Remember, as far as anyone knows, we are a normal family like everyone else." The sign was funny enough by itself, but what really got my attention was the fact that it was being sold in the section where church and religious articles could be found. I could just imagine some pastor and his family buying that sign and reverently placing it in a prominent place in the home, or over a doorway to remind themselves whenever they entered.
Normalcy - what is it? My kids liked to wear shorts while growing up, and they still wear them. That probably bothers some people. My dad thinks the shorts look funny, but then he has dementia. Aren't Christians allowed to wear shorts, or is that normal for Christians? I remember hearing of one family - and they actually exist somewhere - who went swimming in the Gulf of Mexico; but they were a Christian family, so of course they swam a bit differently. The girls went into the water wearing dresses (or something very much like dresses - not pants!), and their dad went swimming in his jeans. Blue jeans. Levi-type jeans. The kind that shrink up enough when wet to raise your voice a full octave. And lest you think somehow modesty was saved that day, think again. Once the girls were sufficiently wet, more showed than they ever imagined, and more than any one's imagination cared to know.
Pardon me for being just a tad worldly right off the bat, but my wife and I allowed our family to dress for the water when we went swimming. Having lived along the gulf coast, we quickly learned how to find our own beach without having to resort to all the touristy locations, so we avoided the danger of gawking at some embarrassingly displayed person.
But we still wore swimwear. Why? It was normal. Pastor's families need the liberty to just be normal. That may mean allowing them to fail at times, or at least not expecting the tribulation when they do. As far as the preacher's family knows, they are normal like everyone else. Don't let them know any differently.

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