Did you know that I found my soul mate?
Relax, that's not news. I've known her for almost ten years, and two years ago she married the most wonderful man who is so, SO good for her. I want to move to San Francisco and be their next door neighbor!
But the reason I bring it up - is because I want to tell you a little story she relayed to me today. (Bear with me - this story is scattered all over the place!)
For Valentine's day, Kikr's husband gave her a lovely little necklace. It's a circle of glass surrounded by silver and inside, it holds a mustard seed.
Some of you read that description and already have an idea what it symbolizes, and have probably left to search for a similar necklace for yourself! That's okay. I'll wait.
Okay, back? Let's move on.
Kikr visited her doctor today - it was only the second visit with this doctor but she really likes her. If you've ever found a doctor or any other health professional that just puts you at ease and seems to connect with you - you'll understand how happy she is to have found this doc.
She feels that this doctor understands her, they relate well. They're simpatico.
Then as doctor was examining my friend, Kikr's necklace caught her eye. Finally when she went to listen to her heart doc asked, "What is that?"
Kikr told her it was a mustard seed.
"A mustard seed? Why?!"
"It's a symbol of faith. It's a reminder that even the tiniest bit of faith can achieve great results." Luke 17:5-6, Matthew 17:20
Kikr says she felt in that instant that their connection was gone.
She felt that the doctor immediately changed her view of Kikr - suddenly Kikr was one of 'those' people.
"And you know what?" Kikr asked me, "It only happens to Christians. If you're a Buddhist, the response is, 'Oh that's great. You're so enlightened.' If your Jewish, that's cool. But if you are Christian, you're one of 'those' people. I am so tired of it."
I agree with my friend's observation.
I think that is a chief factor in politics right now... if you identify as a Christian you are lumped into a category that describes you as closed-minded, ignorant, and uneducated. Apparently educated people can only think the same way.
I'll even say it doesn't work the other way around. If we meet someone who is of a different faith, or of no faith - we respond with "Okay. I'd still like to understand you. I will walk with you."
Or do we?
I feel that I do. I have a friend who is an atheist, and while I don't agree with him - I embrace him. With him I have some of the most wonderful discussions about faith.
Maybe not all Christians behave the way my friend and I do. (now, I'm not saying we're superior.) Maybe others have encountered Christians who immediately tell them they are wrong to have no faith, or wrong for not believing in Christ. Maybe they tell them they are destined for hell.
I personally don't know any Christians like that, but maybe they are out there. And if they are - well - they are bad PR!
I will admit that will point out wrong.
My atheist friend who is the midst of a divorce, told me he had reconnected with his high school sweetheart - and that they were having an affair. She's still married (and his divorce isn't final) They both have children.
I was not shy about telling him that what he was doing was wrong. He didn't like to hear it, but he heard me out. And I could only tell him what I thought, and how strongly I believed it - because I am his friend. If I had dismissed him when I met him - told him he was sinner right then - he would not have stood for my lecture!
He's given up the affair - and we are still friends.
How do you present as a Christian? Do you feel tagged by some people, or always embraced?