October 7, 2010 | 02:34 pm

Thursday – Eccentricity & God

I fancy myself to be an open-minded, progressive thinking, hard-to-shock kind of a guy. But the array of colorful characters in New York City occasionally catches me off guard. I’ve watched a woman dressed like a stripper singing and dancing down the street. I’ve seen an eighty-year-old woman with bright pink hair and the stalwart “Naked Cowboy” in Times Square (by the way, I like the old Naked Cowboy better!)  I really do love it. But let me put on my “pastor’s hat,” and ask the question, “Where is God in the midst of this?” I can’t say exactly where, but I can say that God is in the middle of everything, even the bizarre and eccentric. Jeremiah 29:4-7 speaks to this. The Israelites are in exile in a foreign land and living in the midst of a strange culture and religion. God’s counsel through Jeremiah is stunning: build homes there, marry the people there, and “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile…, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Even though the place they find themselves may seem bizarre and strange, it is there they will find hope and their future. Eccentric people and places are not a sign of God’s absence.