I recently had an experience thatÂ humbledÂ me deeply and made me face some things that I liked to ignore. I am thankful for it, but I feel like I should share it with you so that you to can benefit from what I learned…
I went to meet a mutual friend I have with someone for a bible study at a local cafe. I thought we were both on the same page, and I thought it was really obvious and clear that I was a Christian, and have been for my whole life. Assumptions are dangerous though, and I learned this quickly. This person, began to tell me about Jesus, and how much he loved me and how awesome he was. Now I know all of this. I know it well and deeply. It is part of what I thought was my identity. Somehow though, this person had completely missed that part of me. They were trying to tell me about Jesus because they thought I didn’t know, and my life had not been outward enough for them to pick up on it. I was deeply hurt.
Once I had a little perspective on the event, I realized that it wasn’t her fault for missing it, but my fault for being so quiet about it. My life did not show other that I was a daughter of God.
Sadly, this is not the first time this happened to me or to Dan.
My excuse has always been based in our small personal experiencesÂ that New England has been less understanding and less welcoming to us in this part of our lives. Growing up in the south, in a baptist church, I was always surrounded on all sides by Christians. It is a safe place to be a Christian and a safe place to be outspoken. After moving here, Dan and I both learned not to stir things up, not to mention the Lord, or how much he has shaped our lives, our love, our upbringing, our hearts, our direction, our growth, and everything else. I remember recently talking to Dan about how much it bothered me that in the south, people say very hurtful and unloving things about people who weren’t Christians. It is easier in the South to lose perpective and assume you are surrounded by like minded people and say things that are actually un-loving, and that I personally believe are not what Jesus wanted from us AND that are not his word or his direction. The funny thing is that here in New England, I have felt the opposite. I have been in situations where Christians are the butt of the joke, and the respect instead is thrown out the door. Terrible, unGodly things have been said in our presence, with zero-sensitivity as to how it would make a Christian feel. Because of this experience, Dan and I both keep quiet about our hearts, and simply live our Christian lives quietly.
That all being said, I do believe that it is important that we are not closet Christians. I don’t want to preach or convert or condemn. I feel that is the Lord’s job and not mine. My job is to love… and I want to make sure that is clear.
I don’t want our belief in Jesus to be a secret, simply because of our fear of making a disruption. What I want, is to be the Christian that makes other Christians, and non-christians, changeÂ theirÂ opinion andÂ theirÂ Judgement of the common religious person.
So this is me making sure that it’s out there and it is clear. We believe in Jesus Christ, and we strive to put his love into what we do with our business and our lives. IÂ apologizeÂ for not being brave enough to be as open as I should be about how much he IS a part of our world. It is something that we strive to govern our lives by, and make specific business decisions by and out of respect to YOU I just wanted you to know it.