The wonderful Andrew Blair added a comment below yesterday’s post, The onset of depression
“Hi Paul, I have been depressed for the best part of 10 years. Worse now. I am Bipolar and wish I could be irresponsibly Manic. Cheer up or down as the case may be. And we were speaking of Normal”
It was the sad “smiley” at the end of Andrew’s comment which got me.
How we each compare ourselves to “normal” and not in a good way. I know I do most of the time. And yet I am not sure that is correct – I am not sure I am correct.
Because Andrew’s comment released that ponder into these words:
“But I do wonder more and more what “normal” really is. Because I wonder if normal doesn’t actually exist in the sense we (normally!) use it.
Our dog is deaf – has been from birth – to her that is normal. Our grandson has an extra chromosome – to him that is normal. I have always had enough to feed myself and my family – to me that is normal. And so on and so on.
Yet depression for me is not normal, thankfully. And yet – perhaps for another I live a more depressed life than they. Perhaps they simply see things differently, think things differently, prioritise differently.
Come to think of it – so did I! Guess I will in the future as well.
It’s what I love about my God. Everyone’s normal is his normal!”
Just as the Greatest of These Is requires no conditions on my part – so too perhaps my definition of normal.
Because if my definition of “normal” is essentially what my culture, politics, or country deems “normal” … how can I love without condition?
How can I love those who are not my definition of “normal”?
The church’s dilemma with “biblical-correctness normal” springs to mind. Biblical-correctness has to rule out those of different persuasions. Not just the usual red flags of sex or gender, but “persuasions” of all kinds … beliefs and faiths … lifestyles and cultures … compliance or non-compliance … even believer to believer – the raging eternal debates and soapboxes of “my correctness is the only correct correctness … “
Of the same bible, the same faith, the same God, the same “Christian” label.
Which is weird.
Everyone’s normal is his normal.
Just like The Greatest of These.
Another “simple” we choose to make too complicated for me to live – and which “not living” has become the biblically-correct “normal” – because we are taught (as normal) only God can do that. Which lets me off the hook whilst still being “biblically-correct”.
Which is even weirder when you think about it.
It’s what I love about my God. Everyone’s normal is his normal!
Thank you, Andrew.