Set ‘em straight: Faith
As Christians, it wouldn’t be honest to say that we could care less about what Kristaps and Samanta believe about matters of faith. I do care, but in the context of the previous post, I would imagine some readers would chime in, “Well, I thought you just pointed out that it is human nature to think you are in the corner with truth and you presume to be doing a favor to others to drag them into your corner! So is that what you are doing when you share your faith? Are you taking advantage of your position as hosts to force these kids to be a captive audience for your pitch on Jesus?”
Man, sorry to dowse any residual Christmas cheer! That’s a bummer to read over, but if there’s one thing I want to leave as part of my mark in this life–it’s authenticity! I want to talk about the difficult things–with honesty and humility, and simply put, I want to get and stay real–even if that gets a little raw at times. I’d rather err on the side of less sugar-coating with the foundation of true love–valuing all people involved as eternal creations of God–made in His image.
As such, believing anyone, who might be wondering what I asked above in the first paragraph, is sincere and positive in their inquiry, here’s my thought. I do not believe I deserve or have earned a place in the corner with truth, and that includes any truth–faith, relationships, love, sports, politics . . . But by the result of completely unmerited favor, I believe truth came to be in my and everyone else’s corner if we will welcome him in. That’s Christmas. God came to be with us, to die for us, so we can be with him if we choose to accept his means for that kind of relationship to be realized. That means? Jesus.
And so I will just say as a CHRISTian, I follow Jesus, and I believe he is the definition of truth. I understand more truth the more I know him and remain near him in heart/emotions, soul/presence, mind/thoughts and body/health and actions. And then, where does that leave the conversation with Kristaps and Samanta?
Well, prior to this trip, neither had a ever sat in a formal church service before in their lives nor had they heard the Christmas story. They’ve done both now. In fact, I used a website through my iPhone to translate verses into Latvian for Samanta during the Christmas Eve service we attended. Right now, it’s still new to them, and they aren’t sure what they believe. But scripture is clear that it is a work of God’s Spirit for people to come to a believing faith in Christ as Savior.
In that, I am really trying to stay present, in the midst of so many different layers of feelings and topics flying around, and tuned into God. Please pray for Kristaps and Samanta–for the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and that we can be aware of what God is doing around us moment by moment–willing to join in where we can! But I don’t want them, or anyone for that matter, to be projects or to feel like projects, but rather objects–of authentic love for them where they are at–the good and the junk in their life’s trunk! You know, I hope that for me, for Julie, for my boys, and for everyone! (We are Christians, but we are constantly at different places in terms of receiving the authentic love God has for us. Like perspective, growing in God’s love is dynamic. We still have a long way to go on that ourselves!)
Set ‘em straight on faith? I don’t know what “straight” is. My ruler is off–way off, but thanks be to God, he sent a carpenter, a perfect carpenter, to be my measure! It’s his corner, and I find many ways to wander off into the dark settling for cheap replicas like the glow of my cell-phone for sunlight! I love the old saying that rings true, “I’m just a beggar trying to show another where to find some bread.”