What kind of Christian are you?
Recently this question was asked of me, I believe rhetorically, but never-the-less I gave it some thought.
It’s easy to say what kind of Christian I should be, but what kind of Christian I actually am? That’s a whole other thing. It didn’t take long for an answer to rise to the surface of my heart.
I’m the very human, sometimes sloppy but always convinced kind.
We, though, are going to love–love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. 1 John 4:19 the message
Like all humans, I crave love and acceptance. I crave safe places where I can be vulnerable. I spent a great deal of my nearly forty years trying to earn those things. I kept trying to give away what I didn’t have. Kept demanding from others what was never their responsibility to give me.
I knew in my head God loved me. I knew all of it. All the church in me, all the Sundays and notes and back-pats defined me. But I clearly did not believe, in my core, the truth of it. I had not bumped up against grace, so stringless. Had not yet truly rested my weary, over-thinking head on His knee. Never had I pressed paused on my striving. Never had I shut my ears to other broken humans telling me I should be like Jesus instead of to just be with Jesus.
Being with Jesus…was not talking about Him, writing a blog about Him, reading books about Him, or telling others about Him. Sometimes the path to Jesus is littered with church notes, five point plans, teaching tapes and good intentions.
Six years ago I stood by a window in my living room, looking out into my cul-de-sac. I was grasping and afraid. I wanted to control things and people and circumstances that did not belong to me so that I could feel better. I will always remember the way He confronted my pride and the invitation He slipped into my heart that day.
Come be loved.
Uncertain but sick to death of towing the religious line without the promised results, I went.
To swing on my porch. To sit at my kitchen table. To stand at my windows. I had no idea what I was doing. All my life I tried to relate to Jesus by doing things I thought were right and avoiding things I thought were wrong. I only knew the currency of performance and following instructions.
I had no idea how to just do nothing.
Smile…the best, most life-changing nothing I ever did.
I was spending grace. Blowing through it like a hole in my pocket. Completely myself and saying my whole heart aloud to Him. I hid nothing. Unrehearsed. Unfiltered. Untimed.
Finally I came undone. Finally I had something authentic to give away.
Because He loved me, first. Gave to me, first.
I’m still sloppy some days…some years, even. Sometimes I’m a well run dry.
But no matter what I’m convinced I’m loved. And I’m always invited.
Come be loved by me. Sit with me. Talk with me. Let me whisper into your world. Let me fill every empty space. Let me heal every hurt. Let me give purpose to every regret. Let me unlock the chains. Lift the weights. Time to put aside your agenda. Give back your accolades. Cease striving.
First we were loved, now we love.