One of my classmates today, on the subject of coming to our school Bible study (he’s not a Christian):
I don’t want to go. What’s between you and God, that’s deep stuff. I don’t want to talk about that in a group.
Especially not a group of classmates, peers, “colleagues.” He’s still coming, which I’m thankful for, but he put into words what I’ve been feeling for really months now– my inner soul world and my school world are really mashed together for the first time in a long time and it makes me extremely uncomfortable.
What makes me comfortable? Being with Jesus, and being with other people who love Jesus. Because one of my kind of fundamental fears is that I won’t be cool because I care too much. About everything. I’m just not very good at being indifferent or nonchalant about things that matter.
So when it comes to God and eternity and what to tether my soul to, I’m not indifferent at all. I’m passionately resolute in wanting to hope in God above all else.
However, the pursuit of that pure hope is downright messy at times and something I’ve grown to love about good churches is that Christians are (in my very blessed experience) often a lot better than the general population about vulnerability and being real and raw. Not to say there isn’t (a lot of) room for improvement, but. With people who I know love Jesus wholeheartedly, I can almost instantly bring most of my barriers down.
So in college, that unbarriered me got to come out a lot of the time because I spent a lot of my time with Christians, or with Chinese international students whom I’d met in a Christian setting–so I could be open with them about how ardently “religious” I was and they would be okay with it, because they expected it.
But now, most of my time is spent with people who are not Christian. That’s okay. I love my classmates so so so much. But what’s really hard is– a part of me is still scared and nervous when I get emails like “Oh, I didn’t know you were religious.” re: my listserv invitations to Bible study.
Well yes, yes I am…
I felt similarly scared to share my writing with my classmates. It’s just so much harder to lay before an audience something you really really care about, something into which you’ve poured a more vulnerable part of you.
But, I’m a big believer in transparency. When your ugliness and anything that’s worth shame has been taken, paid for, and destroyed by Jesus, you shouldn’t have to have secrets anymore. Easier said than done.
So I guess that’s what the internet is for! Publish.