Yesterday a Christian woman came down hard on me for posting some words said by Buddha about how to live your life. She was offended that I would promulgate words that “hide the way to God” and make things unclear for my non-Christian friends, of which there are many. This was on Facebook. Before responding, I went to her page to see what kind of person she is.
She’s pretty straightforward: mainstream Christian, part-time working mom of two. She does crafts, and uses the ‘S’ on her Seat to spell J E S U S across the back of her car in bold letters, declaring that finally here’s a ‘reasonable’ way to use a brand. She has short hair and dresses fashionably. She appears to be somewhat of a conservative feminist, which makes her pretty spunky. And yet… she’s never commented to my Facebook page before, and I’ve only seen her in real life a handful of times around town.
I answered her in a private message instead of publicly, explaining that possibly I am not the person she has thought me to be. I didn’t defend my position or explain away my odd approach to Christianity. I love God. I feel that’s my own business. When people ask me if I’m of a religious nature, I always say “no, not religious, but I love God”. I stand up for what I believe in, but here’s something I’d like to tell the world, specifically praise-song-singers who like to publicly lift their hands, wear JESUS bracelets, and go all-out mainstream.
I respect you. I respect what you’re doing for Christ. Truly. But please, respect me, too. I don’t think that the marketing ploys geared toward “winning others for Christ” are the only way to go, even if I think they can, indeed, be a really useful way. You people like to sing your sweet, intimate words to Christ before the masses where I like to whisper them quietly in his ear, naked in our bed. My intimate thoughts about God are just that, intimate, and I feel shy and uncomfortable standing with my eyes closed gushing them to the world. Is that so bad? Ask me to stand and make a speech about how I believe in God, and I’ll do it anywhere you ask. But ask me to gush?
Would you consider something? The words you say to your husband or lover while he’s making love to you – do you wear them on a plastic band around your wrist? Do you write them on your t-shirt and parade through town, expecting other people to be moved to marriage by them? Those ‘sweet words’, as I have come to call them, are reserved only for him, right? You’ll tell everyone that you’re married, and confess before the bank teller that you’ve got a husband without a second thought, but I wonder how you’d feel if I asked you to write on FB your most intimate feelings about him in an effort to “win others to marriage”.
I wish you’d accept that some people do feel this way. In our world… it just isn’t done. Not to mention the fact that I just simply do respect other people, and know that there are others (non-Christians, yes) who dislike the ‘splash’ as much as I do. Discretion is also a means to an end; silence can speak louder than words; a lifestyle can shine like a great lighthouse. The God who interacts with me is all these things. With you, maybe he’s different. And I accept that. But some of us are simply all about understatement. Know this, people like me are passionate in the bedroom. And yes, I mean with God. Inward passion can show the way to God as much, if not more in some cases, as ‘Jesus campaigns’.
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” -Buddha
I hear Jesus in this. I hear the New Testament, and reading it helps me to refocus on God. If it doesn’t help you, I’m not in the least offended. But Jesus loved ferociously, and he didn’t have to write it in big letters across his car to get the message across. He just susurrated: I AM.