the less glamorous thing

A very wise man once told me and others in our group that the best comment somebody could make about us is this, “I didn’t know he/she was a Christian, but I can see that”. Since hearing that about 2 years ago, it has changed the way I live my Christian life.

We all have faces. The ones we put on in front of our friends from youth, the ones we put on when with our church buddies, and the real one that shows when we are with those closest to us, or when we are alone. Sometimes the changes are subtle and sometimes we are downright different people. It’s the nature of preservation. I have known some wonderful people, truly gentle and sweet and I have seen Christ in them, and then they put their Christian face on and I was instantly turned off. I have been this person. I have wanted others to know just how Christian I was and just how great my status as a Christian was. What was the point of being such a perfect Christian if I couldn’t find a way to let everyone know? The thing is, I was not a fake Christian. I truly loved the Lord and I met Him in the Bible and in my prayer life which was very one-sided with me always praying for people and situations and never just loving on Him.

One day I met Him in a different way. I met the Lord that is alive today through His Holy Spirit. And what I’ve noticed is that He is very quiet about the good He does and He is very humble in His ways. I began to see that when I did something I was really proud of, like gave of myself in a Christian way, and I had to let those in my life know, it was in my own doing  and of my own strength. When I turn to an indwelling Lord in what I do and I allow His purposes to be carried out, He doesn’t want to tell everyone and so I don’t make it known what He did.

When I have taken credit for what the Lord has done, as in I’ve made sure my good deeds were known, it is either 1)because it was never the Lord doing it anyway, or 2) I just took the Lord’s credit. I don’t ever want to do that to Him again. Of course I’ll make mistakes until the day my natural body dies, but I want to live by Christ’s life and be guided by His plan, which was thought of way before human need was ever an issue. Yes, it is important to help the poor. It was my life’s work once and it will be again, but our Lord is not alive simply so He can fill human need. There was a plan long before Eve ate the pomegranate off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He wants to live in us. And one day He will marry His Bride, the Church.

He is going to marry one Bride, which means we are all a part of the same Body, the Body of Christ. When we do something of eternal value, like give a thirsty person a drink, it is not me or you doing it, but the connected hand of a whole body doing it. We are not lone rangers on a rescue mission. Christ has already won and He’s already done the work to rescue human kind.

When I live my life in Him, I notice that my “faces” become one face- His. I no longer need to act like I am born again in front of born agains. I was born with a personality and Christ is intertwined with that. If I choose to be a public speaker or I choose to be voice for the poor in a Women’s Home, I am just as wonderful in His eyes. Christ is mesmerized with His Woman, and I am a part of Her. I don’t have to keep trying so hard, He already loves me.

Since healing from some of the more painful parts of my past, I feel I can be open with the Lord. I have never felt more close to Him and I am so happy to be free of the parts of myself I wouldn’t give Him. Chris and I have had a thousand and one ideas on how we can be better Christians, from spending every weekend at the park with the homeless all the way to taking in an elderly grandparent. But none of it was directed by the Lord. Homeschooling my children is directed by Him, in my heart, in my soul, and in the Spirit.

Right now my life in Christ is to raise my children… and that’s IT. Should I try to take on noble acts of service, such as opening a women’s Home, my children would suffer for it. I would have to do what I don’t feel is right for them or our family and put them in school. Now is not the time to do that. A few years ago we began the process of getting our Home. We talked with others who could help, like the president of the Home I was once in. We had their full support, we were to begin the process of getting a board in place and fundraising. Only, it was not time yet. I was so bummed, especially since I had told everyone I knew what we were doing. I was humbled greatly in that experience. But I have seen the fruit of that decision in knowing the peace, joy, and contentment in first taking care of my family. Christ’s “mission” begins in the family. Had I put my children in school simply to open the Home and not because it’s what was best for them, I would have sacrificed the great thing for the good thing.

Homeschooling is not glamorous. It is not seen as some great evangelistic mission of some kind and I am not receiving the glory I would had I opened a Home 3 years ago. But it’s usually the least glamorous thing that Christ does. I know some pretty great people who do some pretty great things. And the only reason I know is because I find out later in passing. I love that. It is a wonderful example for me and my family. It’s never obnoxious, it’s never huge, but it touches lives in a great way. A friend offered to watch our kids about a year and a half ago so Chris and I could go on a date. We weren’t getting along at the time, but she didn’t know that. A date was so good for our marriage and we never go on them. She never told anyone and she was willing to watch them all day. She worked full-time and sacrificed one of her 2 days off that weekend. I saw Christ in her. And if I didn’t know her well I would have said, “I didn’t know she was a Christian, but it doesn’t surprise me.”

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Jackie

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