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An Illustration on Misfits and Brokeness

So, here’s a huge illustration I’m working on and I’m still not 100% sure on what direction I should go. So, please send me some of your ideas. Let me give you the premise.

One of the major themes for camp is about being a misfit. When we “Chase the Light” and follow Jesus, we’re going to be seen as a misfit. The world around us isn’t going to understand or see why we’re doing the things we do. So, we’re playing with the different perspectives of being a misfit.

The initial thought I had was to have a container of tennis balls and another container of ping pong balls… or something else that is even more different than the tennis balls. I was going to illustrate how to the tennis balls, another tennis ball seems normal and acceptable. To the ping pong balls, another ping pong ball seems normal and acceptable. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, if I were to put a ping pong ball in with the tennis ball, the ping pong ball becomes the misfit. It becomes the strange and different item in the batch. In a ways, that is what we are when we follow Christ. We don’t completely fit with the world around us and although media, peer pressure and other factors will push us to conform and become more like the “tennis balls” we have to remember that:

  1. God is calling us to be different. He knows that we’re a misfit and we’re to chase after him in a world of others that don’t always chase after him
  2. Being a misfit is only a matter of perspective. The ping pong ball isn’t a misfit with all the other ping pong balls. Even though the ping pong ball is a misfit with the tennis balls, it shouldn’t forget it’s identity as a ping pong ball. It has a home, it has a fit and has an identity and one day will no longer be a misfit.

So, I feel pretty okay about this illustration and that it would work; however, I feel I can illustrate the same thing but take it even a bit further. It’s undeveloped and needs some work. Here is what I’m thinking:

I take some common objects (maybe metal) that I haven’t determined yet and while I’m talking to the kids, I pull out a hammer and start denting, breaking, and deforming these objects. I can talk about how this is a picture of who we are. God created us good and perfect and whole… but our sin and fallen state has broken us. We’re very far from what God intended us to be. However, when we decide to Chase the Light, to run after Jesus, he actually makes us whole again. I can replace  one of the broken objects with an untouched and unbroken object. I’ll set the ridiculous scene of how in a huge batch of broken objects, being broken is considered normal and acceptable. The whole and perfect object is the misfit. It doesn’t fit. The other objects won’t understand the whole object. In our lives, when we chase after Jesus, we’ve people who have been made whole living in a world of broken people. Many of them will look at us with contempt. They may make fun of us because we’re different. They may label us as a misfit because we’re different… which is ridiculous because in reality, they are the ones that are broken.

I like this illustration because it’s not so randome as tennis balls and ping pong balls, but very much attached to the human condition. At the very end of the talk, I’m going to speak to the person who has made fun of other kids. I’m going to hold up the broken object and point out the ridiculousness of that situation, that what is truly happening is that something (or someone) who is broken and deformed is poking fun at something or someone else. All in all, it sets the stage of the messages we’ll be leading into during the week of being made whole and becoming a misfit.

So, I just don’t know what these objects should be? What would communicate well? Maybe it can be something that is common, it just needs to be easily broken, dented and deformed. Do you have any other thoughts or points I might need to draw some attention to?