So, very recently I’ve started communicating with a wonderful person who identifies himself as an atheist. First and foremost, I thank him and I thank God that he has been open to conversation, not set on debate or making me change my mind about my beliefs. There’s been a common understanding that we can ask each other questions without the agenda of converting one another and there’s been a sincerity that is scarce among people of all faiths.
I think hearing that I’ve reached out to someone who is of a different faith specifically to talk about our beliefs makes many people uneasy. I understand why, but at the same time I really don’t. My intention is to learn, to understand, to connect, to create relationships. I mean, isn’t that the great commission of what I claim to believe? I wanted to burst my bubble that’s overcrowded with Christian community and to venture into the world that’s overflowing with people who do not think, see, feel, believe, what I feel. The world that God is still in as well. I wanted to really be where God is, where we wants us to go.
I’ve reached out in the past with good and bad experiences, nevertheless, coming back with life lessons that I would never have learned had I stayed in my comfort zone. I’ve willed myself to be led into this relationship where I have to stretch. Where I have to actually activate my faith. Where I let God show me that he’s not scared of doubt, opposition, or disbelief. If I have faith in God as much as I say I do when I’m saying “amen” in church, then he will take me far beyond bible study, quiet time, church service, worship songs, and everything else about my faith that feels good.
My God lives outside of my pleasure, outside of my preferences and he’s asking me to follow. I’ve taken what I thought was a small step of faith and in that, God has catapulted me into a fruitful and genuine friendship that in many ways, is more transparent than many other relationships I have. Basically, I have to ask myself, “How much faith do I really have in Christ if I’m afraid to be confronted with anything outside of it?”
Let God be God. He works through relationship, with us and through us. He’s not nervous, or anxious, or secretive, or embarrassed. That’s all you, boo. He can answer those hard questions, and take you to those unattainable places if you let him. It’s as simple and as complicated as any relationship.
My God is not exclusive and not discriminating and little by little, with every ‘yes’ I’m willing to give, he’s willing to overshadow my apprehension with his goodness. My experience so far has been one that’s overwhelming and uncomfortable as it is exhilarating and edifying. Please just take a chance and step out. Without putting limitations on what a “good” outcome looks like. Let God show you what he can do when you don’t give him restrictions.