Ronna Fisher, Content Editor
As I scrubbed off the last remnants of his name my friend had boldly chalked onto my passenger side window, I wondered when had it begun—when had I begun feeling ashamed of his name? When had I become embarrassed enough to always drive with that window down so that others’ wouldn’t see his name emblazoned on my car?
I have never been one to shove Jesus down other people’s throats. I am uncomfortable put on the spot and dislike preaching to innocent bystanders, but I’m unsure when wanting to build relationships over shouting Jesus at people turned into a desire to hide him, almost like a guilty pleasure.
Apparently, when I was younger I was bold enough to start a bible study with friends during the summer. My younger sister was in charge of worship, and we would sing cheesy songs, like “Lean On Me.” I was never afraid to invite an “outcast” to church with me because I was also an outcast. In fact, I doubt I even saw them as outcasts; they were just people.
I remember being a young, shy fourth grader praying with a friend at my church for her to accept Jesus into her heart. As a young girl, I probably did not know how to help my friends grow and continue in their faith, but at least I was bold enough to try. Now, the name Jesus hardly ever enters my vocabulary.
At a recent small group, we joked about how the Bible is shorter than all of the Harry Potter books combined, yet we failed to have read the whole Bible. In all honesty though, I do not know how many times in the past year I have said, “Oh. I love Harry Potter.” Or, “I love Star Wars.” Or, “I love college.” “I love Taylor Swift.” “I love you.” “I love cheez-its.” And so on. How many times do I ardently profess my love for someone or something? Countless. How many times do I find myself saying, “I love Jesus” with as much enthusiasm? Hardly ever.
I now find myself turning the volume of my Christian music down at stoplights if I have my window rolled down because I do not want to be “that person.” How self-absorbed of me.
I have found that boldness can even be a challenge among friends. It takes vulnerability and courage to ask even my closest of friends, “Can we pray together? Right now?” Again, I fear being “that person.” That person who is super religious–who always wants to pray. Yet, I find when other people are brave enough to be “that person,” I am full of relief and admiration.
If I cannot be comfortable in my faith in a place of comfort and friendship—in a place surrounded by other professed Christians, how am I to believe that I will ever make a difference outside of this safe place? I hardly recommend shouting Jesus at innocent victims on the street, unless, you know, that is your cup of tea. However, I must not let consideration for others or a desire to build relationships first turn into shame and fear.