I realized it this week in conversation with someone at Starbucks. We had been discussing a difficult situation and when I told them how I would respond-he paused looked at me and asked….‘are you a Christian?’
It’s a question I have been asked before. Normally the answer would roll off my tongue, but not this time. I paused, long enough for it to be awkward. I knew this man and the people he rubs shoulders with. I knew that if I said Yes, then he would assume I was like some of the crazies that he and I know. So I looked him in the eye and said….’no’. I gave a pregnant pause until I could see the next sentence pursed on his lips and blurted out…‘but I’m becoming one’. Somehow I had hoped that by not declaring my arrival as a Christlike one, and instead in telling him of my desire to become one-he would afford me more grace. The truth is some days I am not a Christian. By definition the word means Christlike. To say you are a Christian is to say you are like Christ. Truthfully, today I wasn’t, Yesterday was pretty good, and I have high hopes for tomorrow. My friend was intrigued by my comments. ‘What do you mean your becoming one’, he said? ‘Well, I want to live the radical teachings of Jesus and sometimes that is hard to do’, I explained. I went on to tell him that God is at work redeeming this world and all things in it and that he has invited all of us to join him. I am trying to join him in his redemption work, and somedays are good and some not so much. And while some days I don’t feel like a Christian, I know he still sees me as his child.
To say your a christian says nothing about God, and a lot about us. I would rather say more about God and less about me. To say I’m becoming, opens the door to talk about God and his grace, and forgiveness. I know this for sure, I am not what I was, I am not what I will be, I am somewhere in the middle….becoming. ‘I can appreciate that’, my friend said and the journey of our friendship continues.