Circumstances as of late seem to be leading me to share my story with y’all. I think I will start with the present and then flashback to earlier days.
I really don’t enjoy talking about myself, but I do enjoy pointing people to Christ. I am not a bible thumping, hell, fire and brimstone kinda Christian. So, I hope I don’t scare you off with all of this Christian talk.
I may offend some people here, but in my opinion, what you see on t.v. and the media does not represent Christians well at all. In fact, if I were not a Christian and that public persona is all I had to go on, I most certainly wouldn’t want to be a one.
If you have been hurt or burned by the church, I am so sorry.
It is easy, even as a Christian, to be discouraged in the faith. I’ve been there. I was there for quite some time until recently.
On Maundy Thursday, I went to an all night prayer walk. It was kind of like stations of the cross if you are familiar with that practice. I went hoping that Jesus would encourage me. I had visited over half of the stations, and they were meaningful, but my hardened heart was difficult to penetrate.
When I got to the station that asked us to express our love for Jesus, it got real. I was feeling a bit frustrated at not feeling love for Jesus. I looked over to my right and saw that someone who had visited the station before me wrote, ‘undying love’. “Liar!” I thought. “How can you honestly say that you feel such a deep love for Jesus? He’s not visible. Life is hard. People get hurt. I hurt. Circumstances knock us down. I’m down. So, how can undying love be filling your heart?!”
At the risk of others seeing my own expressions, I decided to answer honestly. I drew an empty frame and wrote the word ‘unwritten’ inside. On the back of my drawing, I elaborated on the meaning of my illustration.
As I wrote, I was taken back to a time when I was about seven- years- old and truly loved Jesus with all of my heart. I loved going to church. My favorite part of church was going to children’s chapel. There were puppets, songs, and bible stories. I would sing “Oh, How I Love Jesus” with such conviction. I vividly remember my heart swelling with love and joy.
Even now, as I write about it, I’m taken back to that time.
But something happened to that little girl’s heart. On this Maundy Thursday, my heart was aching. I missed having a child like faith. And so I prayed for God to reunite my heart with His.
I carried my illustration with me as I traveled to the next station. Tears started to fill my eyes as I reflected on how I’ve denied Jesus in my life.
Then, with the illustration still in hand, I made my way to the last station: The cross.
Tears freely flowing and walls crumbling, I knelt at the alter before the cross. Suddenly, I was that little girl again, being reunited with her first love: Jesus.
I left my illustration at the foot of the cross that Maundy Thursday. On Easter Sunday, I worshipped with a resurrected heart: a renewed sense of gratitude and love for Jesus.
Over the next while, I will fill you in on the story of the seven-year-old little girl and her journey through life.
Until next time,