Monday, April 25, 2011

The Necklace

Last week one of my co-workers said, “I didn’t know you were involved in the church.” My first reaction was, “What made you think this?” (Yeah, yeah I know, sad, but follow me for a minute). I mean, we were in the middle of trying to get our bleach tanker to work. We were beating and banging and scratching our heads. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. We weren’t having any kind of conversation other than “hand me that hose” or “try it again.” He just said this out of the blue! I answered his question and we moved on.

It wasn’t until I headed home that it really hit me. As I thought more about our time together I was most taken back by the fact that we’ve spent two years together and this is the first time he’s felt compelled to ask me this question. But, before I dwell on this I first want to touch on what led him to ask me this question. Trust me, I spent three days racking my brain trying to figure out what I said or did to lead him to ask me this question. I know, sad, right? More on this later as well! Anyhow, it finally hit me. He’s a strong Catholic. While we were working on the tanker my St. Christopher necklace was revealed (Please, nobody tell OSHA). This necklace was a gift from a friend years ago when Kacee and I moved to Romania. Honestly, I don’t wear the necklace for protection. It has an entirely different meaning for me. I look at it as a symbol of the support we received from so many friends and family members while living overseas. I keep wearing it as a reminder that when we live in concert with God’s will, and family and friends support us, all things are possible.

What a relief I felt to finally realize why my colleague asked me this question. Or at least I thought it was a relief! Once I knew how he knew I had to live with myself for allowing a necklace to do my talking. How sad that my actions never gave away my faith, but rather a necklace. Oh how hard we work to keep our cover. And why? Are we embarrassed? Are we afraid we may do something to push them away? What if they don’t accept us? What if they don’t copy us on the office gossip? What if they don’t send us the dirty jokes? I’ll be honest and transparent. I have had, and still have, many of these fears. I want to fit in. I want to be liked. I mean come on Facebook doesn’t have a Dislike button for a reason! Our greatest, my greatest, struggle is to be who He wants me to be, not who the world says we should be.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you go get a cross necklace. If you think we need to “wear” our faith then you are missing the point. After all, should a necklace, tattoo, shirt, or bumper sticker give away our faith? Shouldn’t the “words of our mouth and the attitudes of our heart” be the real indication? All too often our actions lead others to believe we are not Christian. We are more likely to push people away than we are to draw them to Christ. I want people to know, not assume that I’m a Christian by my actions not my attire, not even by what I say. It’s easy to say something. It’s much harder to prove something. Be encouraged, we ALL have a long way to go in this department. Aspire to new heights.

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