Normal?

I get some of my best insights in the shower. Showering is such a mindless task that it allows my unoccupied mind to wander elsewhere.

So I was in the shower one morning and out of the corner of my eye I saw the shampoo bottle: Pantene shampoo for normal hair. I’d seen that bottle so many times before, but had never noticed the label…the word “normal.”

I pondered, “What’s normal? Who am I to think my hair is normal enough to buy this kind of shampoo? Is it good to have normal hair? Who defines what’s normal?”

By this time my mind was wandering way beyond that bottle of shampoo and even beyond the shower: How do we use the concept of normal in life? Are we the norm and anyone not like us is abnormal? Odd? Strange? Other? It’s so easy to fall into that trap.

What did “normal” mean for Jesus? He was open to all kinds of people – the poor, the blind, the sick, the outcast, but also the rich and powerful. He made no distinctions among the people of his world. He lived among them, one of them, one of us.

When the divine became human, then everything human became normal. That means me, too. I think I chose the right shampoo.

Mary Ellen Green OP
Sinsinawa, WI

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