Last week one of my colleagues in the writing center gave me a huge compliment, but within the compliment was a challenge. She was sharing about some events that have been going on in her life, and she said she noticed that she was different when she was around me. When I asked her what she meant, she said she could tell I was a Christian, and when we worked together she felt so much calmer and at peace. Then she asked to make sure I was a Christian, and I assured her that I absolutely was. Then she said, “It’s so obvious. I think if we turned off the lights you’d glow in the dark.”
I was stunned. I honestly had no idea it was that obvious, which is troubling in its own right. You see, I hadn’t been making a conscious effort to be “Christian;” I’d just been living my life and being me. If God comes up in conversation, I contribute and share my ideas, but I haven’t really been broadcasting my beliefs. I think it’s probably clear from certain things that I’m different (my declaring once that I’d never been drunk certainly turned a few heads), but hearing someone affirm that my Christianity was evident was both encouraging and humbling. It reminded me that you really never know who is watching you and what they see, and it’s so important that what people see in me is not me at all, but Christ. I’m not always very good at that. In fact, I often fail miserably. I don’t think that I try to hide my Christianity, but her comment has made me think about how to be more outspoken about my faith. In a discipline like English that often attracts more worldly, liberal-minded people, I can see the potential for many opportunities to show myself as holy and set apart. So often I feel like I, and Christians in general, try to blend in with the world and be “cool,” but are we not called to be cities on a hill and lights in the darkness? That requires standing out, not blending in. While sometimes my light may be dim, I hold fast to the promise that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion, and with His grace I know I can keep on glowing.
EDIT: It is so warm outside! I would like to think that the flip-flop weather is here to stay, but knowing the mercurial nature of Tennessee weather, I’m sure next week we’ll have temps in the forties or something. I guess I need to enjoy it while I can!