I have been reluctant to broadcast my personal relationship to God, because I do not consider myself a very good example of what a Christian should look and act like. Still, at the very heart of my writing God’s guidance is evident. Each thing I produce has to past the sniff test of truth, as I understand it before I can expect anyone else to listen!
“Frog” is kind of code among Christian believers. It is an acronym for Fully Rely On God.
In a confusing array of choices, I take comfort in the guidance of a higher being, one who sees and knows everything. To know He has a plan, and I am part of it, and not all of it, helps me find security in my reason for existing. I write from that source.
Often I think about my host of friends who choose not to believe in divine authority. As God is my witness, I do not look down on them because of this. I consider them very dear friends, and accept them just as they are, and they do me. But to drop my pride and reveal I am a “Christian” will cost me something. To affiliate with those who boldly fly the banner of Christ may cause finger-pointing by those who consider themselves better Christians…I will never be able to withstand their withering glares, and whispers of unacceptance, and the judgement and rejection.
But to step out and fully rely on God demands I do so publicly. I have been flamed, brow beaten, disrespected and rejected at times when I timidly shared my faith with someone who was skeptical. It is a rare atheist who will politely tolerate a Christian’s viewpoint without openly reviling it. These bullying events have scared me, and although I remained resolute, I became very cautious. I became covert, which only served to make me look odd to believers and unbelievers alike!
I do not attend church. I deliberately work on Sundays because nobody else wants to. I enjoy sitting quietly at my desk, thinking my own thoughts, praying, working on things I was too busy to work on during the past week. This day of preparation for the following week is an important service to every one of my co-workers. I like to think of it as a “sacrifice” I make on behalf of others, to enable them to attend services, be with their families, and so on. It is pure joy, and I think God accepts it as my Sabbath, or day of rest.
I am deeply embarrassed by “Bible thumpers” and strident Christians who proclaim their own righteousness by disparaging others. They list their own credentials, and their list of good deeds like a well rehearsed speech on why they qualify to carry the name “Christian”. When I study God’s Word, I never find where Christ himself ever did this. It was the Pharisees who acted in such indignant self-righteousness that Jesus rebuked them openly. No other group received such a severe tongue lashing as this group!
Of course they were angry, and ultimately silenced Jesus by arranging his death. I think the rest of the story is well-known. The idea of a human being rising from the dead is a hard thing to convince really happened. The idea Jesus was a God/Man is even more difficult! These basic tenets of Christianity are based on faith, not reason. Each human being is perfectly well-known by God, yet we regard God as a fantasy because of our lack of knowledge about Him. Our unbelief, though reasonable, does not change the truth of God one bit. We are free, absolutely free in our choice to bathe in his light, or flee from it.
I relate more closely with the “woman at the well” who went to draw water at an odd time of day, after all the “righteous” women had finished. This woman was well-known as a local prostitute, and had a long history in her small town as one who had made wrong choices and was no longer welcome in polite society. Guess who came to that well at the very same time? It was the unknown Jesus, a carpenter from the area.
A casual observer in those days would have been astonished and outraged. No self-respecting Jewish man spoke to any woman in public, much less one of her pedigree. Yet Jesus did. But why? She had no credentials, no authority, no money, nothing of value at all.
Despite this, they had a long conversation together, about her history, her past, and her present. It was an honest and surprisingly accurate discourse, and she was quite astonished. But there was no condemnation, despite her record. She was a Samaritan, not even one of the “Chosen People”. She had no idea who Jesus was, but she said, “I know that Messiah, (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” and Jesus answered, “I who speak to you, am he.” This public harlot was the very first person on the planet Jesus revealed he was actually the Messiah! Openly, and in full view of everyone, she was the first to hear these words. He is a rule breaker, a man without fear, and one who is able to love someone everyone else condemns. I cannot get past a person like Jesus!
Neither did she. She ran back to town and began to tell anyone who would listen about this encounter. She recognized the truth, accepted it, and shared it. She could have refused the offer, but did not. Each of us will eventually have the same opportunity and choice. It has nothing to do with our own choices prior to the encounter, but everything to do with whether or not we believe Jesus can find us worth loving just as we are, in all our self judgement, shame, anger, and fear. The acceptance Jesus demonstrated to such a woman leaves me assured any other person, including me, can be loved and accepted also!
In the coming weeks, I am going to discuss the importance of women in Jesus’ time on earth. It is an amazing and redemptive saga.