I closed the door after entertaining my most beloved people. The ones that act and think like me. The ones that argue with me and make me laugh. The ones that have known my quirks and still would do anything for me. My family. I replayed the conversations in my head, it was a pleasant evening of togetherness long overdue- but moments left me feeling vulnerable now. For a reason that I think most believers run into when they are afraid to share their faith with others. I am not a timid person so to speak, so it always catches me off guard when I fear saying something or worry after sharing. There were a few moments at this gathering where I chose to admit my faith in these little pockets of conversation. I paused before each of these moments, considering. It would be easier and feel “cooler” not to say anything. Yet, would that be untruthful to myself? Yes. Would it be untruthful to my God? Yep. And what about my witness? Gone. And so in these little moments of opportunity, I geared up my strength to…
-Pray before the meal knowing that not everyone present prays
-Admit that the music I chose to listen to for my MRI was a christian band
-When the topic came up about speaking in tongues (Oh Lord, why did this topic come up?) I testified it was real and yes, that it’s a prayer language I have.
Oh I felt so vulnerable. I still do.
Does this tension resonate with you? I wonder how many of us struggle in those moments to admit who we are, to share the simple nuances of our daily walk with Christ, and to let others see it. I texted a friend for a laugh and comfort. I knew she would understand the current awkward after-the-fact feeling I was wrestling with. After a few hilarious emoji exchanges she replied to me that she loved it, and that I’m always blowing God out of the box people put him in. It was an encouraging note, one that I re-read over and over in my mind whenever my stomach began to nose dive.
Even though that vulnerable feeling remains… I think I feel better than I would have, had I pretended. Sure, I would feel safer in the relationship with my family if I had remained quiet in those moments, or lied. But, I think I would feel sad now…and probably remorseful. For the relationship with myself and God are the ones I value most. The truth, however odd it may seem to those veiled, is still truth. If it is in love and in kindness, it is then, the representation of God in us. If we don’t say it in the little moments, chances are…we won’t say it in the big ones. And maybe big moments will never come, but I think we need to build our courage by leaning into the training these moments provide, regardless.
It should be noted that my fears weren’t realized. Though my statements fell to a silent room, they were respected. And I, was still loved.
We are all called to live honestly, so how do we do that if we don’t show up in the moments of small conversation and little choices? I don’t think faith is lived out on a stage. Our faith is lived out in the really tiny choices of our day, don’t you think?
It’s lived out in my morning routine of coffee and prayer. It’s lived out when I choose to apologize instead of fester in anger. It’s lived out when I choose to forgive instead of harbor bitterness. It’s lived out when I help someone else clean up their mess. It’s lived out when I choose to be grateful instead of greedy. It’s lived out when I cry with a friend who is hurting. It is lived out when I thank God for answered prayers, and not myself. It’s lived out when I turn to God for direction, and not the world. It’s lived out when I fill my head space with good things, instead of the alternatives.
And the truth is, it IS lived out when I choose to listen to Bethel when I’m getting my MRI. It IS lived out when I share I used a time I was scared to pray. It IS lived out when we wait, and say grace before a meal. It IS lived out when I admit that God has given me a gift of the Spirit.
Lord, I pray that you do something with these very small offerings. This humble, not always doing it right but trying very hard servant of yours gives these moments to you. You are the story teller. I am a small character in your story. And this scene, that will one day be forgotten, I pray will be used for growth and goodness. ~Amen