Monday, 30 April 2012

Faith Is Not for the Faint of Heart

Today I went to the hospital to be poked and prodded and have tubes pushed down my nose, all in an effort to determine if I could surgically correct my deviated septum. What I did not know was that there would be a total of six medical students in the exam with me, peering up my nostrils and taking notes to determine the problem. There was plenty of time to wait--I was shuffled in and out of exam rooms, and at one point in time I found myself in an empty corridor with a man in a leather jacket. Tattoos peeked over the top of his collar, a skull inked on his right hand, "Believer, Bought by Blood" emblazoned across the back of his jacket.
I was impressed. "So, when did you become a Christian?"
"Well..." he dragged his words. "That's a difficult question. I mean, what does it even mean to be a Christian?"
I was a little confused. "To believe in Jesus. To know that God has to redeem us because we can't do it on our own. I'm a Christian," I added, hoping to help him out. "Always been one. Well, actually my parents are Christians, but when I was fourteen I made the personal decision to follow Christ because I realized that following God would always be better than anything life could give me."
The man stared at the wall, avoiding my gaze. "When did I become a Christian? It's hard to say..." He paused again. "Always and never."


If you're going to be one of those bearded, tattooed Christians that wears biker jackets with crosses and statements of faith scrawled across the entirety of your back--if you've necessarily decided to make public your private faith--then you had better be ready to answer the curious mind with more than a faltering, half-hearted, no-answer, so watered down it trembles with the paroxysms of the incurable people-pleaser and bears little resemblance to the original creed. I must admit I was a bit disappointed to see that the outward trappings of faith had seemingly nothing to do with actual conviction. 

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