Sometimes I’m really thankful that I was brought up living in a Christian home. And attending a Christian school. And a frequenting a Christian church. And running around at Christian camps. Honestly, I was so blessed, and I realize it now more than ever. Please don’t assume that I am ungrateful, because I’m not.
However, this is where the “but” comes in. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that the Christian bubble teaches us that God’s love is good enough for you if you’re good enough.
It’s like God’s love covers the good kids, but the kids who go to hardcore shows and the kids with tattoos and huge plugs in their ears and the kids who smoke pot and the kids who sleep with their boyfriend/girlfriend and the kids who intentionally harm themselves and the kids whose parents are in jail and the gay kids and the kids who are involved in cults and the punks and the sluts and the emos and the bullies… nah, God’s love changes when it comes to them. There’s no way he could love them, and there’s no way that us Christians could reach them.
Yeah, that sounds harsh. But think about it. Until incredibly recently, I had written off almost all of those people as unreachable. I honestly thought that God wasn’t big enough to change their lives! It stunned me to realize how much I really didn’t understand the power of the God I serve.
I guess it’s because I don’t have a testimony about how God changed my life around, so that firsthand experience of a flash of lightning and a burden lifted off the shoulders has never been something I can reflect on. And, since most of the people who are closest to me are the born-and-raised Christian type, I haven’t experienced it secondhand either. Not that that’s any excuse. But while thirdhand isn’t a word, I have experienced the ultimate grace of God through the testimony of people I don’t know, but who have shared their stories with others and through that provide hope.
The real reason I’m writing this is because today I watched Louie Giglio’s DVD “Fruitcake and Ice Cream.” Long story short, in this presentation he reads the diary of a college senior. She’s the epitome of someone I would have written off as unreachable in high school. She goes to clubs, sleeps with her boyfriend, cusses, and slacks off of school. She claims that God doesn’t want anything to do with people like her. But two weeks after this incredible Christian roommate she (degradingly) nicknames “Fruitcake” moves into her apartment, her life completely turns around. In insanely unbelievable ways. Should I have been shocked to hear that God has that kind of power? No. Was I? I’m really ashamed to admit that I was.
To sum it up, today I learned to never, ever write off God’s ability to change lives. And I realized how stupid, naïve, and prideful I was to think that God would need my help to change those lives. He doesn’t. Sometimes He really just needs me out of the way, because I’m getting in the way.
Maybe I would have learned this if I had grown up in a secular world. But maybe I never would have known the grace of God…
Who knows? But you can expect more writing about this later.
Humble pie: Devoured.
God’s power: Acknowledged.