From all corners of America and even the world, these refugees find themselves huddled together. The mass is filled with all kinds: tall, short, fat, slim, hairy, bald, bearded, smooth, old, young, and more. This group is a microcosm of the world at large. There is just one glaring fact that you cannot get beyond. There is one thing that raises a concern.
They are all men.
These men and some boys randomly walk through tool shops and sit on benches like zombies waiting for the women in their lives to finish at Dress Barn. They show their man card at the door and walk down the street to Tool Town, Black & Decker, or Bass Pro. Here they feel more comfortable. Power tools, fishing rods, guns, ammo, and camo feels like home. They are aliens and strangers in that other land. This reminds me of a verse.
Dear friends, I warn you as temporary residents and
foreigners keep away from worldly desires
that wage war against your very souls.
–1 Peter 2:11
These men feel, naturally, like followers of Christ ought to feel in this world. These men feel a little uncomfortable. Even those who will stay and help carry stuff and nod approvingly still would prefer to be somewhere else. Whether they admit this or not is irrelevant. There is discomfort because they are in a place where they are thinking of being someplace else. They are the Dress Barn Refugees.
As followers of Christ we should feel uncomfortable in this world. There should be a feeling of awkwardness. There should be a feeling of discomfort. We are aliens and strangers in this world. We can dream of being someplace else. We can desire to move on. We can learn to deal with our surroundings and be helpful. However, this is not our spot. We are just refugees waiting to go home. Please be careful to not get sucked in to spaces and situations that will harm you, embarrass you, or kill your integrity. You will not be treated fairly here. You will not be fully accepted here. Remember that this is temporary.
Being a refugee is not always fun or inviting. This status describes us but does have to define us. Work hard. Be kind. We will soon go home.