the more i read Radical the more uncomfortable i become, because i'm not sure that i'm a christian. i think i'm a wannabe follower of Christ who's missed the boat. he said, follow me, and i said, wait! i have my art and my writing and my comfortable bed and my babies and my husband, and don't you care about those things? why would you give me natural gifts only to tell me to sacrifice them? why would you give me children and a husband and then tell me to put them in danger?
because this is what he calls us to do, and more and more i'm learning this: i don't know Jesus. Platt writes,
"we are molding Jesus into our image. he is beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is whom we are most comfortable with. and the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshiping the Jesus of the Bible. instead, we may be worshiping ourselves."
and i wonder how much of this extends to my life? it is easy to say i hear the holy spirit in the rush of wind through the trees outside my window, but could i say that if i were homeless and hearing the same wind?
it is easy to say i see God in the faces of my babies but would i still be able to say that if our lives were being threatened for going to church or speaking the good news or even just claiming to be Christians? would i risk my children's lives for the gospel? i'm pretty sure i'd risk my own-although i say this while typing on my lazy boy, in my pajamas, and drinking coffee-but would i risk my family's?
i've been taught that good Christians don't do that. i've been taught that God wants what is best for us, that he will not give us more than we can handle, that we are to protect and nurture our children and put them in safe christian schools and youth groups and take them to sunday school so they'll know Jesus.
but Platt also mentions a couple of teenagers in his book: shan, and ling, who were sent out from house churches in their villages to undergo intensive study for taking the gospel to places in asia that have no churches. ling and shan have both told their families that they will likely never return home. that they are going to hard places to make the gospel known, and that it's possible they will lose their lives in the process.
and what do their parents think of all this? they understand. after all, their parents have also been imprisoned for their faith. "they have taught us that Jesus is worthy of all our devotion," said shan.
i don't know Jesus. i don't know the man who tells us to:
let someone else bury our fathers
don't even say goodbye to our own families
eat his body and drink his blood
carry our cross
i don't know him. but i think i want to. and i know, without a doubt, that i want my children to.
(linking with heather at just writes)