As I’m going through this period of deconstruction and clarification, a lot of processing is happening. Some of that processing is taking place in the form of writing. Writing helps me think and process my thoughts. I don’t always publish what I’m processing. I have a separate journal for that. I don’t publish something until the thinking has brought some clarification.
When I published my post on Purity = Being a Good Christian, I did it from the standpoint of looking back on where I came from in the church we were with for over 18 years. I knew it would strike a cord with some readers. What I didn’t expect was that someone would read it and not grasp what I was saying.
Then I received a message through my Facebook page. It was a bit surprising. This woman had found my post in a rather roundabout way, from searching Google for information on a spelling curriculum that I had written about on my homeschool blog.
She told me, “Then like I always do, I popped over to your personal blog to see if your review was from a normal homeschooling mom…and was glad you were. ” She then on to read other posts and landed here. That’s when she decided that I needed help in my “struggle to find your Christian identity.” First of all, I want to make something VERY clear.
There is no struggle with my Christian identity.
I shed it. I no longer identify as an evangelical Christian. I haven’t in many years, but I have never put it in so many words. Apparently, this lady only sees what she wants to see.
She then went on to give me a big Come To Jesus, using no less than ELEVEN of the most common Christian cliches that we all became so comfortable using. Pat answers have no place here because there really are NO PAT ANSWERS. This is my spiritual walk and I’m much further down that road than even I realized until just the past six months or so.
The cliches don’t cut it anymore.
In fact, several of them cause a visceral, almost PTSD reaction in my gut when I hear them. Things like, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”, and “When God closes a door, he opens a window” cause a real, physical reaction within me. These are abstractions and they aren’t real.
What IS real is a helping HAND when someone needs it.
Forget about “God closing a door”. If you can be the HAND that helps someone up, then do it. A closed door doesn’t relieve you of your part in the life of a friend, colleague, or neighbor. If you are able to help and don’t, then “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt 25:40) is meaningless.
If you are Christian, I want to see Christ in you.
If you’re not a Christian but you extend your hand to help someone who needs it, that doesn’t make your contribution and part in their life any less meaningful. A Christian would say that what you’re doing is for some sort of recognition or gain, but I know better because I am just like you. You don’t need to claim to be a Christian to have a good heart and pure motives. Wanting the best for a human being is the purest motive that I can think of.
Go and do good. Help someone in need.
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