Christian-ey (yes I made that word up, stay with me here) people can be super intimidating.
I remember a few years ago two friends and I were standing in my bedroom and I had hung a sign up with 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 you know..Love is patient, Love is kind..
I remember saying “I just love this quote!!” and my sweet friend Alison quickly corrected me with “Casey, you know that isn’t a quote, it’s a bible verse” ….”ummm, yeah I knew that..NO!” I immediately changed the conversation feeling so super stupid! But could I really be the only one? Am I really the only person to have a fear of religion or there for the lack of? Is it possible to for people to merely feel inadequate of bible knowledge and intimidated being around people who do so they just steer clear all together?
By the way, My friend Alison who told me that was a bible verse, could see how insecure I was when she said that and later that day she called me when it was just her and I and apologized saying, “Casey I am so sorry I never asked you if you wanted to know more about the bible, I grew up in a christian home and didn’t think that you might not have. I’ll teach you more if you want to know!”
That is not only a true friend but also a child of God who wants to spread his word for his glory!
I think sometimes people feel like they can’t be involved in christian-ey conversations if they don’t have all the answers. I believe this to be true because it has been me for YEARS! I always wanted to know more but never wanted to seem like I didn’t know enough. What if we as a community made a space for people like me and I am certain a lot of you! What if we are able to sit down together and say, explain this to me. I just don’t get it.
We are humans and we see things in a factual way. So, my friends it is okay to say, “But wait, Jesus was nailed to a cross and then rose from the day?” …”And wait! Your telling me when I die my soul is going to go live in the clouds with everyone else?”
Don’t feel as though you can’t ask these questions! Another friend once told me, “I can tell you what we believe is when you start asking the hard questions, you are at the highest level of your faith journey.”
Aren’t the people in the midst of questions God’s realness not some of his most needy people. At this point in our journey, God see’s that we are on the verge of discovering his light in the rest of our life and this is such a crucial time. One wrong look or comment from God’s church could close the door all together.
What if we boosted God on high and made him proud and a safe place for these vulnerable people. I met 5 girls a week ago that showed me how beautifully and faithfully this can actually happen. I sat at a table whom of 4 of them I have never met. But they answered questions I had and we had conversations about God. I told these woman this last weekend that even though I pray to Jesus daily for some reason I wasn’t able to grasp the value of prayers to Jesus in numbers. You know when people call on their prayer warriors and the pray in the mass’s and miracles happened. For some reason in my mind It never occurred to me to call upon any and everyone to pray for my situation with my children and to pray me through the waiting of Gods work.
When I told these woman this, they didn’t say “Well, then you must not believe Gods words to be true!” They (in enough words) said, let me show you what it can do!” They made the perfect environment to invite me to learn more but not to turn me away with harsh words.
When we first got to the IF:Gathering we each received these keys on a necklace and that was our ticket in. One of the days we were asked to pray with the person sitting next to us. Stacie was my praying lady, we prayed together about our fears and worries, we both were weeping and then we returned our attention back to the speakers. After the next set of speakers she tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Casey, right when we were done praying I looked down at my key and thought I want to go buy a giving key necklace (because she liked the key idea and they were on sale in the lobby) and she said God immediately spoke to her heart, “NO! I want you to wear that key on your wrist until Casey’s kids are safe and home.” WHAT?!? So she said that’s just what she was going to do. She told me she would wear that key until my kids were home. I told her, ” You know that could be years from now?” She said she didn’t care and she was going to wear it until my kids came home!
YA”LL can you imagine? Someone I had JUST met was committed to seeing my kids home. I think it that moment God wanted to show me the power of him, for me…through others. That moment Stacie decided to invest in my kids through a tiny key..it meant everything to me.
The other day I was having a hard time missing Kamoga and she sent me this picture..
Her wearing the key, “Praying them home”
So you see if WE THE CHURCH could commit to providing a safe place for the people that are teetering on IF God is real. We could provide so much glory to God that the possibility of teetering would be absent all together and now they would be just ALL IN!
We don’t need to have all the answer’s to know God…He finds us in the questioning and pulls our hearts in. I was reading IF: Equip this morning (from yesterday that I missed) and the verse was John 1: 49-50 and it say’s this..
Then Nathaneal declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus said, ” You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
So you see if you would just be willing to open your hearts to SEE if it could be true…GOD will open the heavens and show you that it IS true.