Most Christians I have met are helpful and friendly. Few are malicious or vicious. Many are non-judgmental. Yet many have also adopted a posture of being “the chosen ones”, the ones who know best – of what is godly, what is deemed acceptable, what is right, and their judgments of those who don’t ascribe to their views sear and scar. Many congregate and discuss how to “save” others, as if they know best and without first listening with compassion, resting on their pedestal of having “been saved”. And in their zealous desire to make everyone Christians in their own image, they fell into the trap of being unkind, unloving and persecutory.
Before I continue, this is not a Christian bashing piece nor is it really about Christians.
Recently, I met a family of Christians who prompted this post. They practiced being grateful and humble; and they seem to have genuinely placed their trust in their God. No words of regret were spoken, definitely no metaphorical chest beating of a life they could have had but for such and such, so and so. Neither did they put forth the name of God to dress up their “humble bragging”.
I was pleasantly surprised and genuinely touched by their attitude and behaviour. I do not presume to know their hearts or minds; I can only observe their actions.
Actions which demonstrated the grace with which they encountered others and events, the acceptance of their situation, the gratitude for what they have, and the joy in what they do.
These are people who have gone through much. Daughters who lost their father before they were not yet 10, and in that accident also suffered severe injuries themselves. The years that followed were not easy; their father was the sole breadwinner before he passed. A widow who had the care of 3 children and in later years, lost her eldest and only son to leukemia before he was able to provide her with a life which he, the loving son, had promised her. So mother and daughters thrived in their faith. And the church congregation helped where possible.
We had met up again after many years. And in our conversations, I discerned their assuredness of God’s providence. This trio of women have seen a lot of the world in their travels, and while they joyfully spoke of their experiences, there was little “showing off”. And I noticed their practiced refusal to engage in gossip or criticism, instead they responded with loving kindness. I am intrigued by how unaffected they were to prove their worth or righteousness. This was most refreshing, particularly from my usual interactions with people who needed to show and impress or to be liked.
Though I am certain it is not without complications and struggles, they seem to live a simple and joyful life. Whether Christians or not, we can be and do these.
It is not that life is without struggles; it is the story we choose to tell and then to feel about it.
And if I were to tell their story, it would be about strong women of faith who are living life as best they could with joy and love.
What is your story?
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