Wow. She’s so upbeat and helpful. She never says a bad word and always seems to try to take the high road when it comes to office banter. I wonder if she’s a Christian…
I’ve pondered that a couple of times lately about a few people I occasionally bump into at work (some of them are men, but I’ll leave it to you to do the pronoun switcheroo). And soon after that notion occurs to me, I’m prompted to follow it up with another one:
I wonder if anyone ever wonders that about me…
You see, I don’t get asked about my faith very often, and I’m not sure if that’s because people see it in me but don’t want to talk about it, or because they don’t see it.
Am I a closeted Christian without realizing it?
Now, if people ever ‘Google me’ or look me up on Facebook or Twitter, they’ll figure out pretty quickly that I call myself a Disciple of Christ. And if people ask me what I did last weekend, for instance, I tell them – respectfully, calmly and succinctly – and my answer will point to my faith.
I think I’m OK (getting better, at least) at saying I’m a Christian when given an opportunity to use words. But how good am I at legitimately, authentically and subtly making those opportunities? And far more importantly, how good am I at saying I’m a Christian without saying I’m a Christian?
If, as I suspect, the answer to the latter question is ‘Not very good,’ then how do I go about getting better at it? I’d sure like to be good at non-verbal witnessing and/or evangelism.
As is often (but perhaps inaccurately) attributed to St. Francis of Assissi: ‘Preach the Gospel at all times; use words when necessary.’
And as I wrote a year and a half ago in Cross, I don’t want my jewelry to have to do the talking for me. I want every twinge of my eyebrow, every smirk on my face, every hair in my ears, to point to Jesus and have people unable to stop themselves from wondering why I’m so irrationally happy, serene, upbeat and courteous all the time – and how they can get connected to that kind of crazy.
That sounds like a great way to be, but it just ain’t part of my personality. How do I get from here to there?
I can see two possibilities (not that I’m saying these are the only two):
- Maybe this is something about me that doesn’t need to change; perhaps that sort of ambassadorship isn’t what God made me for. Is it just fine with Him that I seem a bit shy and aloof until you get to know me, which makes my dedication to Christ in my music and my writing all the more impactful when it’s encountered? Not everyone seems to be called to be worship leaders and bloggers, after all…
- Maybe I do need to grow in this area, but it isn’t up to me to do the growing. Perhaps this is one of those areas where the sum total of all human effort and fifteen bucks will buy you a small coffee at Starbucks. Perhaps it’s Jesus, not me, who is to do the work on this issue – and my efforts to ‘do better’ and worries that ‘I’m not doing enough’ are actually getting in the way of His efforts.
OK, Lord. I’ll try hard to stop trying so hard. (That’s just counter-intuitive enough to be straight from Heaven – either that, or pure hooey. I’ll let you know if I figure out which.)
In the meantime, peace be with you.