Abby Normal


“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

Thought for the day:

I don’t know how many of you might be Mel Brooks fans but while doing devotions this past week, I was reminded of this scene from the movie, “Young Frankenstein” just after  the monster was brought to life and it became obvious to Dr. Frankenstein that something was wrong with the monster’s mental capabilities... 

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [to Igor] Now that brain that you gave me. Was it Hans Delbruck's? 

Igor: [pause, then] No. 

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Ah! Very good. Would you mind telling me whose brain I DID put in? 

Igor: Then you won't be angry? 

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I will NOT be angry. 

Igor: Abby Someone. 

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby Someone. Abby who? 

Igor: Abby Normal. 

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby Normal? 

Igor: I'm almost sure that was the name. 

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [chuckles, then] Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven and a half foot long, fifty-four inch wide GORILLA? 

[grabs Igor and starts throttling him] Is that what you're telling me?

Perhaps you are wondering why this came to mind during devotions? Well, I was reading the book Yours Are the Hands of Christ by James C. Howell and he records a conversation one reporter had with Mother Teresa. The reporter wanted to know why Mother Teresa was so holy. Her response was to question why being holy seemed so strange. It was as if the reporter thought holiness was weird or abnormal. Mother Teresa went on to explain that holiness is actually the norm - it is unholy living that is abnormal. 

No one likes to think of him/herself as abnormal. I remember a time in my life when I would trumpet to all: “There is nothing wrong with me, it’s the rest of world!” How I wish that were true today!

In reality, we are all abnormal! We are abnormal because we are not meeting the standard set forth by our Creator. The world we have shaped does not conform to the world that God envisioned - through sin, our lives have deviated from the norm. Ever since humanity’s deviation, the quest of God’s people has been to regain a sense of normalcy by reclaiming the holiness of humanity prior to the onslaught of sin. Howell points to our Wesleyan heritage of holiness as being our guide back to normalcy: Inner holiness (which is the purity of our own thoughts and habits) and Outer holiness (which exhibits a life devoted to God through acts of charity). 

I pray that together we will seek holiness of heart, mind, soul, and body. I pray that one day we will be able to say with divinely supported conviction: “There is nothing wrong with me, it’s the rest of the world.”

Prayer for the day: