Do you know someone you or others consider eccentric? Do you consider yourself eccentric? Are outlandish clothes appealing to you? Or do you prefer fashionable clothing? Would you take someone seriously who looks very different from what you expect?
The vast majority of us have our own little ticks. Each one of us will do or like something that is not really in the norm. We experience something different and find we like it. It, then, becomes part of who we are. We take on this new and exciting eccentricity.
I’m sure there are some who will argue they have no eccentricities about them. Yet if we talk to others who know us, they can likely point out at least one strange thing about us. No, it isn’t strange to us, but it is to others. After all, we see strangeness in others. So, why should we expect there isn’t something strange about ourselves?
There was one who was dressed rather strangely who had a monumental task. Think about John the Baptist. A man who wore clothing made of camel’s hair and used a leather belt around his waist to keep it closed. Do you have a picture of him in your head? Does his hair stand out all wild and unkempt? Is he yelling out the coming of the Messiah? Are his eyes a bit on the wild side, bulging out of his head?
What about his food? He eats locusts and wild honey. Would you eat locusts? What if you were living in the wilderness and had to fend for yourself? How do you gather wild honey? Do you have to fight off the bees to gather it? You might have to tend to bee stings and welts as they try to keep you from stealing their honey.
Back to our earlier question. Would you listen to someone dressed like that and having a diet as such? Would you go out into the wilderness to hear what he has to say? Many did, including the Jewish leadership. His message was powerful and impactful. He drew crowds of both common and important people.
John’s message was one the Jewish people had long waited to hear. It had been roughly four hundred years since God had spoken to His people through a prophet. Here was John, dressed like a crazy man, fulfilling a long-awaited prophecy. In fact, he was asked if He was a prophet or Elijah. He told them he was not, and he was not the Messiah they were looking for. John told them to wait, the Messiah was coming.
I pray we all allow for some eccentricities in each other’s lives. I pray we realize we are all unique, with different tastes. I pray each one of us is willing to hear God’s message from whomever it may come from. Don’t judge based on appearance. Relish in our differences. Listen for God’s message. Accept His message, no matter the source.
Mark 1:6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.