He just didn’t know they were weird.

I moved to Colorado 5 years ago. Half a decade – which makes it sound a lot longer than 5 years really is. I’ve come to realize that A LOT can happen in that length of time. Sure, it’s gone by really fast. I don’t think I can say that any month actually dragged on. Days definitely dragged on, but weeks and months – not really.

I’ve moved 7 times – I didn’t enjoy the process in any of those times. Of course I enjoyed the roommates – holla! – and the fact that I’ve lived in all areas of Colorado Springs and Monument minus South Side by the Airport (bless it’s heart). I’ve had 4 cars…wowza. I’ve lost weight and gained weight and lost weight and gained…I have one more tattoo than I did when I moved here. I have darker hair and shorter hair. I have sorer knees thanks to the activeness of the Colorado lifestyle. I have uh-mazing tan lines. I can breathe much easier here – literally. I have 3 more cousins (cousins-in-laws and second cousins once-removed – make sense?)…a ton of new friends…and a lot of acquaintances. 

I’ve met some of the most interesting people in this city/largest suburb ever/hippieville/hipsterville/military town/mecca of christianity/smorgasborg/where “native” is relative land.

Take, for instance, Claude.

My first “apartment” on my own was in Downtown Colorado Springs. I found it on my own (I will never find anything on my own from here on out) and thought it would be quaint and cozy. Quaint and cozy meaning, I would actually enjoy being in the apartment and make it a home. It didn’t turn out as expected.

Claude was one of the people I met when I moved into the Victorian-house-turned-into-slacker-of-an-apartment-building in January 2006. Besides the radiator exploding twice, the refrigerator being in the living room, and the air conditioner window unit falling out of my second story window, it was a gem.

The night Claude and I became acquaintances:

I arrived home around 10:30 one night to find Claude “working” on his Hyundai in the parking lot behind the house. He informed me he was changing the oil. I informed him that it was pitch black – the color of oil – and wondered why he chose this time of day. He told me he kept forgetting and decided to get it done when it was cool out – it was Mid-March – heat doesn’t arrive to Colorado until, well, never. This was on a Friday, I believe. On Sunday morning, I am getting ready for church and hear a knock on my door. Mind you, I know no one in this apartment house – only Claude. I look out the peephole (love that word) and there is a uniformed police officer at my door.

I carefully open the door that was say 6’3″ high – quaint and cozy, remember? Nice looking officer asks if I live in this apartment…um, no I just thought I would scale the wall outside, crawl through the window, and answer the door at a stranger’s apartment (I didn’t really say that). I told him I did and he asked if I knew a man named Claude. I told him yes, he’s the only person I know in the entire building – he laughed. Officer I’m-On-Top-of-It informed me that Claude was wanted for a hit-and-run up in Boulder, Colorado and wondered if I had noticed anything suspicious recently…

Flashback to Claude “changing the oil” of his gnarled up Hyundai at 10:30 PM. Oh good grief.

I told Officer Smiley all of this, he thanked me and told me to call him if I ever saw Claude again. I never saw Claude or his Hyundai again. Kind of relieved actually since the only person I knew in the entire building was wanted by the police in 3 counties…Claude was weird.

Watch this video (for some reason I can’t embed it directly):

Last Minutes with ODEN.

Then read this…

Here’s my point. I hope that Claude finds Someone someday that personifies what Oden was for everyone he came into contact with. I hope that Claude, no matter how weird he is, is able to find the Someone that has no idea he is “weird.” Claude is a Masterpiece just as much as I am and the way Oden just laid next to these “weird” people on the same couch every time – no matter their state of mind – is exactly what Christ does with us. He lays/sits/stands next to each of us in our darkest times and says, “You’re not weird. You are mine and I love you.”

The unconditional love shown through Oden is why all of those people were sad to see him go, but is also why each of those people were still around to say goodbye.

The unconditional love God shows us is why we are still here. It’s why He entrusts us to continue His message of freedom and abundance. It’s why He tells us to persevere and provides us with armor to do so. Having that much love poured upon us continually – no matter how dark or lost we are – is comforting and humbling. But right now, I want it to make me better at showing it. All of this as I’m becoming “youier.”


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie
    May 26, 2010 @ 06:52:54

    Um, Jourdan…crying!! Not just because that video was sad, but you are just so dang insightful and I LOVE you for realizing this. I am going to forever hold this message in my mind as I deal with students and parents (and just all people) who I think are “weird” – seriously, well done, cousin. Well done.


    • jourdanf
      May 26, 2010 @ 09:43:55

      Katie! Thank you so much. It’s something I have to consciously be aware of time-and-time again. So glad you are finished with the year! Your morning oats recipes look ree-donk-u-lous, I shall be trying them soon. Love!


  2. Dad
    May 26, 2010 @ 19:27:56

    Good word, and thanks (not really) for magnifying my greatest weakness as a Christian – I identify too many people as wierd instead of positioning an image of Christ between the two of us, knowing He did the same thing for the ______ (couldn’t type “wierd” again) as He did for me.


  3. Joshua O'Dell
    May 27, 2010 @ 09:27:58

    Dear Jourdan,

    I have to disagree with you on the heat in Colorado. It gets hot.



  4. Brenda
    May 28, 2010 @ 15:08:19

    Sad but wonderful video. Your Claude part was so well-written and funny……I feel like I know Claude as well as I know that funky copper- colored-steam-infested apartment!! You’ve certainly moved on….. Keep up the great blogging. Love, Auntie Bren


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