By Chloe Grabeman
My jaw dropped in disbelief and mortification as my professor proclaimed to the class:
“You saw The Shack? But Chloe, you hate Christian things!”
Oh, wow, great, thanks! How do you recover from a statement like that? I stumbled over my words to try to convince he and the class how this film had moved me so deeply to my core. But his words stuck to me like static cling on laundry day and echoed in my ears all day.
Was he right? Do I hate Christian things? Does my life reflect this?
I love Christ. That I know is true, but “Christian things?” After a day of contemplating that question I reached my shocking verdict– he was right. I hate Christian things. I hate how trying to follow the will of God often seems like a narrow scary tightrope, where one wrong step shatters the plans resulting in His disappointment. I hate that a “good Christian” has come to look like someone whose desire to eat the forbidden fruits of this world will immediately and forever vanish when Christ enters their life. But most of all I hate how God looks because of this equation. Someone who must put on latex gloves and a doctor’s mask to be anywhere near us. I don’t know about you, but if this is all true then I am screwed.
If there is anything I know to be true about God, it’s that He is relentlessly kind. He is slow to anger, slow to judgement, and not even slightly worried about getting into the dirtiest depths of us to tell us He loves us and will stay by our side. His voice is never condemning, never disappointed, but always edifying, filled with grace and life giving. Why is it we seldom think of Him this way? We often underestimate His affection, love, and determination to be with us. We keep Him confined to four corners, whether within church, our Bibles or the points of a cross.
But the reality is our God is an unexpected God. He loves to show himself in the most unlikely places. He’s not repulsed by the secular, the dark, and the everyday. He would not have sent Jesus to this world if His love for it was not worth dying for. Why wouldn’t He speak through all the places His children may be?
When we have an open mind to who God is and the hope He desires to give us, the four corners we keep Him in grow wider and wider as He comes closer and closer to us with His true relentlessly kind nature. I encourage you to seek our Lord with a more open mind and expectant heart — who our Lord is, what He says about you and His ability to speak in the “not – so – Christian things.” Start the conversation, you may just find Him in the unexpected.
- Good to me – Audrey Assad
- God is no stranger – Joseph Holm
- Abide – Housefires
Check them out on the Real and True Playlist on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/128815512/playlist/3YfqgeMjEUj7ZB8ydKd5qL