He doesn’t simply walk.
He thunders across the room, with strides longer than his pudgy body, one arm pumping back and forth in front of him as if the sheer momentum, the sheer force of it, will propel him faster. He’s got purpose – fetching da ball that grandpa just tossed.
I turn the radio on and he stops midstream. Both arms start swinging, his chunky, dimpled legs bend and he bounces up and down, mostly in time to the music, his head bobbing along.
Like everything else he does, his dancing is full of exuberance and passion.
I can’t help myself, I pick him up, swing him around and plant kisses all over his baby soft cheeks. He giggles and humors me. I set him down but he raises his arms. “Up. Up”, he says. Something builds inside of me, something deeper than just grandmaternal love, and I see clearly the gift, the faith reward that he is.
I see the power of a resurrected Christ in him.
The power that rescued a marriage, and later a daughter, and brought me to this place of sheer delight.
I’ll never deny the power of Christ in my life and what He has done.
He’s the cause of the bottomless well of joy that is so full it spills over. My life is far from perfect, I’ve tasted the bitter seeds of sorrow and heartache but even those are overshadowed by delight, so much so that even this morning, as exhausted as I am, a co-worker said “You are just too happy.” (Who wouldn’t be happy with Luke Bryan blaring “I don’t Want This Night to End” in a gymnasium full of sweaty teenagers??)
No, I’ll never deny my Christ.
But the truth is, sometimes I don’t want to be called a Christian anymore.
Because it seems more and more Christians are defaming the name of Christ with ugly battles and judgments and speck-in-the-eye hunting antics, known more for what they stand against then Who they stand for.
Recently a cluster of people I know and myself had our worlds devastated; we found ourselves reeling from the news of the suicide of a 15 year old boy, a young man born exactly one year after my youngest child, a young man that I’d once babysat.
And as I sought to make sense of the senseless, I found myself researching some things.
Before I knew it, I was going down a lot of seemingly unrelated trails in Cyberland.
And I walked away more devastated, more saddened than when I began. If I wasn’t already a believer, I’d probaby close my ears to anything a “Christian” had to say.
‘Cause sometimes Christians can be a mean lot. An ugly group of people. People that are bent on pridefully proving how right they are, striving to show off their degrees and knowledge at the cost of love and mercy.
And this ugliness, this hatefulness and arrogance is directed at each other.
How can this be?
Is it possible, that these hearts have NOT been transformed despite the rallying cry of “I’m doing this in the name of Christ?”
’Cause the Scripture is pretty clear how we display the banner of belonging to Christ:
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:35
I don’t know about you but I find that a heart filled with the joy and love of Christ leaves no room for hatred, for condemnation.
I implore you, believers. Please don’t defame the name of Christ, please don’t give the enemy a cause for rejoicing.
I’m not saying that we ever, ever, ever deny Christ or His Word.
But neither are we to walk in anything but love for one another.
And on a lighter note: here are some rare moments of stillness:
Grateful for this wonderful life,
Marie with a 🙂
Not that it matters but here in Georgia I have the distinct feeling I know who and what you are speaking about here …and you are so right. I’m not giving up on Christ or His church but I am looking hard at my own behavior and seeing that there is a better, simpler way and that’s where I want to be found. You too? I think so. Bless you Marie.
Oh Loretta, it isn’t just one situation I’m speaking about here – it’s a very prevalent issue and if it wasn’t for the fact that my life has been irrevocably and undeniably changed, I wouldn’t be open to the gospel.
And yes, I would like to be found in that same place you speak of 🙂 <3
Oh thank you for this! It’s so hard for me to not be judgmental (or just mental) with some Christians who are just so self-righteous and publicly hating other sinners instead of the sin. And worse with some churches spewing hatred where love should be. My adult children have focused on the hypocrisy and bigotry of so-called Christians and don’t want to be associated with that. It hurts my heart….
You nailed that sucker on the head, Marie! Thanks for saying what I’ve been wondering about myself. I also have to examine myself to be sure I’m showing Christ at home, because my husband is unsaved, and he’s always pointing out the pastors & other so called ‘Christians who are in the news for horrendous crimes towards children, or against adults! BTW, I LOVE the rare moments of stillness from your grandson! Precious indeed!
What a charming grandson! Your post is a good reminder for all of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ to show His love to others, especially to the body of Christ.
Equally true is the fact that the person we think is the poorest example ever of a believer, may have just received news of a terminal illness, or a death in the family, or a thousand other things to put them in a ‘bad way’ at the moment.
I suppose there is enough grace to go around, but you write a needed piece,
Well done, it was taken in the spirit in which it was written, at least by one person., as it should be, one reader at a time.