This year, I’ve stepped out in faith to talk more about Jesus.
I… do not enjoy this. I…. do not enjoy upsetting people. I…do not enjoy defending myself. I…am not good at it. I… am a people pleaser and a keeper of peace at all costs.
Even at my own cost.
Which is why I think God is messin’ with me, man. Like, “Vanessa, are you ashamed of me? After everything we’ve been through, you won’t put a name to the miracles? You won’t introduce me to your friends? You won’t even read the Bible because you wonder if it’s even relevant? Really?”
So, I like… avoided God for a little bit.
(Listen, if you’re reading this to gain some insight on how a flawless Christian in faith behaves, then there’s a cute little “x” you can click on to get outta here because that ain’t going to happen on this screen.)
(Oh, and if you’re reading this just to poke holes in theology or to bring down the sledgehammer of social justice in case I say “God hates fags” then you’ll be sorely missing out on people that actually do that because you won’t find that here either.)
(Lastly, if you hope I’ll tap my devil-may-care soul out on this clickity-clackety keyboard with frigid hands that’ll inevitably say something embarrassing and get something wrong… this is it! THIS IS THE PLACE. Welcome.)
But, God is seriously my most favorite everything and my heart blooms even as I write about Him. So, I rolled my eyes, called Him up, and was like, “Hey God… I guess… I’m like, sorry… I ran away… I was scared… Commitment…” I trailed off because the truth was that
I WAS ASHAMED OF MY CHRISTIANITY.
I HID FROM THE BIBLE.
I DIDN’T LIKE CHURCH LADIES.
WHY ARE WE RAISING OUR ARMS WHEN WE SING, I’M TIRED.
Yet, I sat in the sanctuaries, sang all the worship songs, prayed with my eyes closed, and even raised my arms like a lunatic.
But, I ran from the Bible because I hear wars were started over that, ya know, and people like, died.
So instead, I kept God in my pocket like a little mouse, our secret pact, together like that. Though God is loving and patient, have you ever tried putting Him in a teeny-tiny pocket? He really doesn’t like it… don’t do it, it’s mean. It’ll be like Lennie in Of Mice & Men except the mouse isn’t dead (spoiler alert?) and it’s just God like, seriously? Then this will happen:
You’ll be surrounded by people that you love immensely, that you hug too tightly despite needing tons of personal space, that you text too much even though you avoid most everyone else, that spring smiles to your face at the sight of them, that put your Soul in cartwheel-mode… and they’ll all be… broken. They’ll all be struggling. They’ll all be in pain. They’ll all be in darkness. Your heart will ache with that familiarity and your Soul will stop mid-cartwheel and the Holy Spirit will consume you and you’ll hear yourself saying (through no fault of your own) to your dispirited friends, “Do you want to go to church with me?”
Then, before you can apologize, the words keep coming out… “God loves you, I love you…” and you’ll start wondering if the Rose Latte you had earlier had vodka in it because what are you saying?? Where are these words coming from?? and Oh, my God — I AM POSSESSED.
…by the Holy Spirit
All you’ll want to do is squeeze even an ounce of your salvation, a droplet of it, the peace, the hope, the love, the okayness with BS, and drop it on your hurting friend’s tongue so they can have a taste. So their spirit can be quenched. So that THEY will know God like YOU know God.
But instead, they say, “No thanks, I’m not a church person.” or “Sure!” then you wait for them in the lobby on Sunday because you got to church early to set a good example even though you usually get to church late halfway through worship because really, WHY do I need to raise my arms!? …and anyway, where are they? Maybe they’re late… Oh, they sent a text? Can’t make it, huh…
You know how I know God is around? Especially as I make an ass out of myself repeatedly because I now understand that He really is > than I? Because of the people that I’m surrounded by.
They are Christian and not Christian and even vehemently anti-Christian. They are people that allow me to be who I am, this awkward girl that gets WAAAY too much joy talking about AA and God and His “will” and prayer and meditation WAY TOO MUCH. Mostly, I think the people in my life that don’t “get it” just pat me on the head and let me go on my way, as long as I’m not hurting anybody. Go on, strange little Christian girl, we’ll get lunch together soon… there you are, I know, I know… God “saved” your life… now go play with the other Jesus Freaks, and I’ll be right here.
And they inevitably always are. Right there. Right in the same place. Right in the sadness that consumes them and I so desperately want them to come out and play, get into the sunlight and feel the warmth and the radiance of God himself!
But… they just don’t get it yet, I guess. I get that, I still sometimes don’t get it, honestly. Though in a much less confusing way.
If you get it, you get it. For everyone reading this right now, Christian or not, I pray that something so inexplicably miraculous happens to you, that you will still NOT chalk it up to God, you’ll say it was just a coincidence, but you’ll smile a little more because… what if…?
Then you’ll get it.