Posted by: bellissimanh | April 25, 2011

It’s a Jeep Thing… You Wouldn’t Understand

I’ll never forget the first time I took my hubby’s jeep out for a spin. The day was beautiful – a few fluffy clouds in the sky, but mostly lots of bask-worthy sunshine, warming my shoulders as it beat down on the open buggy. Joel would cringe if he heard me call it a buggy, but that’s what it felt like to me. It gave the sensation of driving a go-kart around town — a little tippy, a little crazy, but FUN? Oh.my.word.

It seemed as if my joy was contagious, because I soon noticed all kinds of people noticing ME! A few of them I knew, but mostly they were unfamiliar faces… just random guys and gals who seemed to take notice of my excitement and give me a nod of encouragement and a friendly wave. I figured they saw how much fun we were having and got a kick out of it. How nice!

Eventually it was time to take the Jeep home (I knew Joel must be panicking wondering where we were by now), so I headed for the Hill. I pulled into the driveway, parked the fun-mobile and met my darling husband who was *cough* patiently awaiting my return. My face hurt from grinning so big, and as much as I had wanted to hide my love of the Jeep from him (“I don’t get what the big deal is… it’s just a vehicle… boys and their toys…”), I fairly GUSHED, describing every aspect of my adventure to him.

As soon as I mentioned how friendly people were, he let out a huge guffaw. Apparently, they weren’t just captivated by my charming enjoyment of the Jeep… it’s standard protocol for Jeep owners to wave to one another. Who knew there was this whole subculture of Jeepers that have a secret (OK, not so secret, but still) wave thingy? If you’re one of the enlightened ones, don’t worry… I’ll still love you… but dang, I felt stupid. LOL. My husband responded with the ever popular, “It’s a Jeep thing… you wouldn’t understand.”

As I was remembering this particular day (I borrowed the Jeep today since my car was in the shop), I thought about how the only requirement for the Jeep cult “club” is to drive a Jeep. It doesn’t matter if your Jeep has a 6″ lift kit or is so small it probably shouldn’t be taken off-road. Regular tires or 31X 10.5’s (thiry-one ten fifties – MONGO tires, picture monster truck in Jeep form). So long as you drive the Jeep, you’re in… worthy of the special wave.

And then I thought of the body of Christ. We have membership in the most amazing club — the family of God. The only requirement for membership is recognizing our need of a Savior, and trusting Christ to be our righteousness. Nothing else matters.

Not ethnicity or economic status. Not education or occupation. Not gender or age. Not intellect or giftedness.

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ” (Galatians 3:26-28)

It doesn’t matter. It SHOULDN’T matter. Yet sometimes, without the power of the Holy Spirit? We let it matter.

We forget that Jesus died for ALL sins, not just the ones we find socially acceptable.

We look on those with special needs differently than others.

We find our little niche of believers and tend to ignore the saints who don’t fit into our mold.

We avoid “needy” saints in favor of those who are confident and solid, rationalizing that they are emotionally draining and our energy is better spent somewhere else, or that we just don’t have it in us to give any more (and if we’re relying in our own strength we’re probably right).

We see pride in others as a tragic fault, and go out of our way not to “indulge” them, convincing ourselves that our actions are godly and will bring about necessary “repentance”, instead of recognizing the wickedness that has taken up residence within our own hearts.

Rather than being a people who impart grace to others, and love them as Jesus does, we pick and choose who to shower kindness and mercy upon – patting ourselves on the back the whole time for our selfless efforts, when in reality, we’re showing favoritism and grieving the Spirit of God.

I have been a victim of discrimination in the church, but worse still — I have been a perpetrator of it. It saddens my heart to no end to think of the number of times I have held someone at arms length just because I felt I couldn’t “identify” with them. Oh I’ve had plenty of excuses, often creative ones… but I’m trashing them all. There is no excuse for doing anything — ANYTHING — that doesn’t promote unity in the body of Christ. If we are not working towards that unity, we’re working against it — whether we want to admit it or not.

So I’m coming clean. I’m tired of being one of those people who gravitates toward the ones who make me feel comfortable and at ease. I’m determined to develop relationships of all kinds, and to  make it a personal mission to see that every part of this sacred whole feels accepted, needed, worthy and loved.

It’s a JESUS thing… and we’d better understand.

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Responses

  1. This was spot on, and I’ve been on both sides of the fence as well.

    Lovingly,
    Yolanda

  2. I know one needy person you DID love… and it made a huge difference in her life!!! 🙂 Thank you!!


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