By Miriam Rossow
Something has changed in me recently. I have noticed it my relationships and in my conversations. I have noticed it in the way I think about people and interact with people. It is a subtle change. It has been a change that has happened over the past couple of years. And I believe it is a change that will be continued in me as I continue to follow Jesus.
I have a friend who is no longer a follower of Jesus. She has seen her family hurt. She has been hurt. She has seen her friends hurt by Christians and the church. She sees hypocrisy and judgement from the church.
She is a CSI and follows evidence. She sees no evidence of God in our society or even in the church. And so she asks questions and I do my best to answer them. We debate creation and evolution. We debate gay marriage. We debate life after death. We debate if God loves us, then why do these things happen?
I felt as though I have to defend God and His church. As if God in Jesus were not big enough to handle the church on His own. I felt the need to defend my beliefs as if God in Jesus were not big enough to defend me and fight for me when needed. I felt I always needed to have the right answer as if God in Jesus was not enough of the answer.
I felt this need even if I was having a conversation with another follower. I always felt I needed to prove myself right. I always needed to prove I had the best answer as if Jesus was not enough of the answer.
Recently this friend came to visit and it was a good visit. We laughed, we remembered, we watched our preschoolers play and interact and enjoy each other. We renewed our friendship and we talked about Jesus.
This visit, unlike other visits, we had actual conversations. I did not feel the need to defend Jesus and God. I was able to hear her concerns and worries without thinking that I needed to change them or her. I was able to listen without thinking that my beliefs were somehow in danger.
Our conversation still led to the question of life after death and why God, if He exists, allows the horrible things that she sees in her work and life to happen. But it was less of me defending God and much more of me sharing Jesus and His love for people with her.
Can you see the subtle change? It is hard to even describe. I think if you talk with me you will hear it. I hope that if you see me interacting you can see it.
The change is that my goal is not to prove I am right. My goal is not to defend God and His ways. My goal has become to simply share Jesus with those He puts in front of me.
I know it seems obvious. I know it seems little. I know it seems easy.
My goal has become to simply share Jesus with those He puts in front of me.
The wonderful thing is that this little change has been huge! It has given me freedom in all of my conversations. It has given me freedom to trust that Jesus is Lord of the church and that He is big enough to defend Himself. It has given me freedom to simply point people to Jesus and trust Him to do the next thing in their life.
My friend is still not a follower of Jesus. She has still been hurt and seen others hurt. My prayer is that as I share Jesus with her she sees the Jesus that loves her and those around her that have been hurt. I pray she sees the Jesus that hurts for those that are hurt and the Jesus that calls all of us to walk with Him, listen to Him, and learn from Him daily and change as we get to know Him better.
The beautiful thing that I have come to realize is that Jesus is big enough to handle Himself. My job is simply to follow, learn, and share Him with those He puts in my life.
Something has changed in me recently. It is a subtle change. It is a change that will be continued in me as I continue to follow Jesus.