Picture this:

Quaint, little cafe.  Not the cleanest place but very popular.  Packed with people eating breakfast, talking energetically with friends.  Servers and cooks quickly covering tables and orders.  Two cooks at one long grill cooking up omelettes, hash browns, eggs, bacon, biscuits, pancakes, sausage gravy and toast.  Everyone is pretty much ordering the same thing.  There is one large pot of melted butter on the grill between the cooks.  The cook on the right is soaking the potatoes and everything else with butter by the ladle full.

Basically, it is one big giant grease fest.  And all of us are happily calorized and cholesterofied.

The cook on the left takes a break from the fun and sits at the bar near me with his breakfast.  He carefully cuts up a whole banana for his cereal with milk.  He also has a bowl of plain scrambled eggs and his own thermos of a beverage.  He is the only one eating healthy while reading his book, oblivious to my staring.  I look down at my hashbrowns, eggs, sausage gravy biscuits and back at his breakfast, and again back at my breakfast.  Mouth open.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely am enjoying my breakfast.  Every bite.  The hash browns are amazingly delicious.

But I am downright intrigued by this man who just cooked me up a heart-attack at my request and yet is eating cereal with banana.

Picture this:

Busy lake/park.  People walking, running, strolling around the lake on the two lane path.  A man in his 60’s is walking, in his jeans, nice jacket and hat.  Well-dressed man.  Very put together and pleasant looking.  A woman, also in her 60’s, well-dressed in a skirt and boots is not on the path.  She is few yards ahead of him, to the left of the path, skipping.  She is skipping.  No one else is skipping.  Skipping is not an activity usually undertaken by those over 12 years of age.  I can’t remember the last time I was skipping.  I like to run, walk, jog, stroll, and sit.  I do not skip.  I use to.  Back when I was 12.   Later, I see them together.  He is walking and she is skipping beside him.  He doesn’t mind.  There are obviously “together”.  He is not asking her to stop.  He is not joining her.  It just is what it is.  And he is okay with her form of exercise.  He is happy.  She is happy.  They are different.  (And for the record, I did skip with her for a little way—It was hard not to smile and laugh as we exchanged pleasantries).

It makes me think of Jesus, sitting with notorious sinners. The religous people walk by them and ask Jesus why he sits with such “scum”. (Luke 5)  It is a lesson of contrast.  Jesus is not intimidated by being different than his surroundings.  He always was.  God, and yet born in a barn, to save mankind from their sin?  Ministering and healing the very people He knew would murder Him?  It’s all very intriguing really.

But think about it.

What would happen if you were yourself,  true to your personality, true to who God made you to be?  Not worried what people will think?  What if you skipped when everyone else was walking and running?  What if you ate bananas while everyone else is eating butter?  What if you made friends with people not like you-ministering and loving on the unlovable?  Not worrying what others thought?

Will people stare, talk? For sure.  But you just might encourage others, to also go down a less-travelled road.  And that, will make all the difference. 🙂