Proselytizing can be easy and fun and alienating

Rookie mistake. It’s been almost a week since I last posted and a lot has gone on. I don’t know what to say about it. We’re having a family member come and stay with us and it could be potentially explosive. I am worried to death about it and have burst in to tears twice because of all the stress and pressure surrounding this trip.

Things keep getting switched up and I do not like that. I like to consider the facts, emotions and potential problems and develop a plan. Then I like to follow that plan, perhaps taking a slight detour to look at clearance racks or to use the restroom. When I create books or cards I like to pull out all the things I might consider using and look at them together for a while. Then I like to make whatever it is I’m making. Sometimes I put the things away; sometimes I don’t. This sort of organization soothes me and makes me be a better artist. That is not happening these days. It is dizzying.

Remember T? My sixty-something-bff? She and said relative got on the phone and talked for two hours. From what I understand the first hour was lovely and the second was spent proselytizing. Relative felt judged, which is really how it seems relative feels most of the time. Relative is Buddhist. I don’t know what happened during the conversation, but it sounds like T was judged, too. Part of the practice of Christianity involves sharing ones life and faith, and to obey God is telling the stories of what He has done in ours lives and at the cross. It’s an important, perhaps even mandatory thing to do, if one believes in Jesus. There are different platforms in which to do it. Friends and family members might bear the brunt of their loved ones religion, but it is essential for a Christian’s faith to grow. For some Christians this comes naturally, for others the challenge is praying for opportunities to share. Is all friendship a ruse to talk about Jesus? Of course not. Life itself is a chance to show off God’s love.

I was asked a few questions about Jesus the other day and I want to answer them here.

Why is there only one Jesus to save the world? Why are there not a dozen. How does one man do it all?

When a child dies, often the first question asked is, “Was he an only child?” If so, extra helpings of grief are measured out. It means that the family’s only treasure has been taken from there and that makes the situation all the more tragic. The triangular family in all it’s exclusivity is gone. When Jesus’ died, for a moment, God lost His only child. Yes, He could have sent more people, it would not be too difficult to send a fleet of fully God, fully human folks, but it was necessary. The only child, born of His mother, was a singular joy to His father, and that is why, I believe, there was only one Jesus.

BUT… The Body of Christ, which is the church, is Jesus on earth. The Bible tells us that we complete the sufferings of Christ. We also share His love, some of us desperately and passionately. (I do not count myself among those people, as much as I wish I was sometimes.) The book of 1 Corinthians tells us, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” There are a ton of verses about sharing in the sufferings of Christ – here are a few: . God is here, and He is in me. He is in us as a group of believers – Saint Augustine said, “Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man…. the fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does ‘head and members’ mean? Christ and the Church.”

I am too tired to write any more tonight.


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