The "J" Word


I’m terrified to talk about Jesus, or even mention His name in this blog.  Unlike what many in my previous life of religious zealotry would automatically assume, it has nothing to do with my shame for Him, or my inability to “share” my beliefs.  

It has everything to do with not wanting to hurt those who’ve been nothing but kind to me.  Some of my best friends wouldn't call themselves "Christian".  In fact, often the opposite.

The foul-mouthed photographer who spoke up just in time to keep me from doing something stupid.  The couple who got pregnant long before a ring, yet their family unit is one I admire most for its commitment.  The gay guy who threw his hat in support of my drastic career change and then offered the best advice on where to eat in London.  The director who makes plenty of money and believes strongly in sharing with the poor.   

At least half of the people I like most in this world have little to do with faith, and even less to do with church.  And sadly...I don’t blame them.

I walk by faith, yet live in fear of them thinking I vote a certain way, find their moral character lacking, or worst of all, that I think Left Behind was a good movie.  

In a book titled UN-Christian, the author asked hundreds of people of what they thought of Christians.  He listed six of the most common answers:  Hypocritical, Judgemental, Antihomesexual (this is in reference to being against an entire group of people, not against a behavior), Sheltered, Too focused on getting converts, and Too political.

Who wants to be associated with any of that???  Thus my fear.  

I want to asterisk any post on here involving Jesus with “Please don’t think I’m like all those other crazy church people you’ve run into who were mean to you, or wanted to control you!”

Because for me, true faith doesn’t need control and it certainly doesn’t seek power.  My faith doesn’t mind disagreeing.  I don’t need people to see things how I do, for me to be blessed by their presence in my life.  

I hate the thought of ever isolating those who’ve never isolated me.  

On the flip side, my faith is the most important part of my life.  It’s the grace that saved me.  I can’t ignore it, or dance delicately around its truth.  So I want to talk about it.  I want to mention Jesus.  Yet, with great respect and humility, I understand those who cringe, roll their eyes, or pound their keys in the comment section.   

But what the church often delivers, I didn’t discover to be true.  Church isn’t Jesus.  And those crazy people shouting on TV, who demand society confirm to some moral code of their choosing, never liked me much either.

So when I mention Jesus, it's out of a need for something greater than myself to restore my brokenness and flawed behaviors.  I seek a savior out of my own struggle to live in grit and grace.

Not from some guilt ridden, power hungry desire for others to get on board.