January 21, 2020
“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:18-20, NIV 1984).
This was the first time I had met his son-in-law. He came to the clinic along with his two young children to support his father-in-law in his severe illness. He was tall, with a red beard, a New England accent and a California tee shirt. The first thing he did was reach out his hand and say, “Let me first say to you, thank you for wearing your faith on your collar.”
This young man had noticed the small cross I wear on my coat lapel. I have no idea how many others look at the same and either wonder, or grimace, or smile, or curse, or thank God like this man did.
Being visible about our faith, being authentic and open, can produce all kinds of reactions. It’s easy for me to wear a sign of my faith. I live and work in Bible Belt territory and have never heard a hostile remark because of the small gold cross. I know not what people are thinking behind my back. That’s God’s business, not mine.
Unlike me, there are many in this world who face serious consequences because their love for Christ is visible. There are those, even in this country, who have been attacked for being open with their faith. Jaelene Hinkle likely lost her place on the Olympic team because she voiced her biblical convictions. Others in less publicized lives have suffered injured relationships or diminished job advancement or loss of respect.
Authentic living comes with a cost.
But then, there are times when you meet those who are grateful because of your faith, and even better times when someone asks you, “What’s that all about?”
Let me be authentic and let others see you through me.