In popular culture, quirky means being “weird” in an endearing way — people or things just weird enough to be interesting and intriguing, but “not weird enough to repel, not creepy.”
Some of the quirky people and things I’ve seen are:
- Girls and young women painting the nails on their ring fingers different colors from the rest of their nails.
- People who make shish kabobs using chopped hot dogs and pineapple chunks.
- A whole group of people who grew strangely-shaped beards and mustaches for a national championship in Germany. [Right: American Justin Kellermeister, 2013]
- Most of the unusual deep-fried foods at our local fair. (Actually, I haven’t decided if they are quirky or yucky. Deep-fried butter sticks anyone?)
You may know some quirky people. You may even be one. I’ve been accused of being quirky … and weird … and strange. But it’s OK. Quirky people have existed throughout history.
- Abraham Lincoln was a bit quirky — lanky and uncommonly blunt. But he was also known for his eloquence, wit and spirituality.
- Thomas Edison was quirky too. He embellished stories to make an impression and was known as a prankster. But Edison’s creativity and innovation gifted the world with many inventions.
- Clara Barton was quirky in her perfectionism and lapses into martyrdom, codependency and poor self care. Yet she was also empathetic, kind and determined in caring for others.
Laurie believes even Jesus in his humanity had characteristics that might seem like “quirks” to people. But He “handled them well,” she said.
To some, Jesus might have seemed “irrationally bossy” and, at times, “unfocused,” Laurie said. Jesus stopped to heal people, be with children, and even make an impromptu appointment with a tax collector sitting up in a tree. It was as if He was following a separate agenda that often surprised His disciples. (And He was! — See John 5:30; 6:38; 17:4.)
Jesus’ desire was to obey the Father’s will and please Him in all things, and sometimes that made Him seem odd to the world; at least, it put Him at odds with the culture.
Jesus’ “bossiness” and “seeming attention deficit disorder” were wrapped up in his desire to glorify God, and His availability and love, Laurie said.
I’ve thought about this weirdness thing quite a bit.
Sometimes I don’t want to be different. Sometimes I want to conform. Even when I know that’s not what God wants (Romans 12:1-2).
If I want to fear God rather be consumed with what people think of me (Galatians 1:10; Colossians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 10:31), there will likely be times I will appear quirky to people – weird, unusual, strange, out of touch with the culture. It may be years (or maybe never on earth) before people realize there is a purpose behind my weirdness. And it may take a while for God to transform my weirdness into wonderful.
How much better our relationships would be if we understood how God wants to transform our weak traits through His strength and use us for His glory. Every trait has a “Dark Side” and a “Life Side,” Laurie explained, and it is in that “Life Side” we glorify the Lord as He fully intends us to do. When we become more like Jesus, we will handle our little quirks well too.
God created me (and you) with uniqueness; why would we ever want to blend in with everyone else? The Lord wants to use our unique qualities (quirks, weaknesses and all) for His glory, to accomplish His will and to bless others.
He wants you to be Quirky Wonderful!
What quirks do others see in you? How can you allow God to transform your weirdness and make it wonderful to the praise of His glory?