Usually, I do my writing with a view from my bedroom window with the rolling hills and mountains of Tennessee, but today I sat at the lake trying to get inspired to write about something different (other than my usual spill about the infidelity struggle) when suddenly it hit me. I began wondering about the depth of the waters where I looked upon, and I realized sometimes people seem as depthless as a piece of Saran Wrap- clearly see through, and without any extra layer of anything.
Sadly, I was one of those people. I used to believe that the average Christian, or at least the ones I had met, lacked “depth.” Most of them appeared to be either superficial or just plain boring.
This brought me to a belief that either the Christian couldn’t see what I saw, and they sheepishly followed the flock, or I was missing something.
What I’ve come to realize is that I was not right, nor wrong. Some people are sheepishly following because that is how they’ve been brought up, but there are others that have depth and I’ve come to know as quite intriguing – sometimes you just have to peel back some layers to see the multi – faceted parts.
My life, renewal, and belief in Christianity was not as clear as some stories. Yes, I did a walk up to the alter at around age 12 and said a wholehearted prayer, but mostly because I’d been warned about that being the age of accountability. It seemed that was what was expected of me and I didn’t want eternal damnation, after all.
The thing is, I did feel different, but I didn’t. I knew God, but I wasn’t yet intimate. My progression and awakening took approximately 25-30 years to really start seeing true fruits (because I’m just that hard-headed).
I’ve been questioned on this and asked by other believers when I was “born again.” I hate that question. The reason for me, is because I truly believe mine was a slower awakening, with periods of more and more clarity along the way. I began to see and feel things on not the limited, 5 sensory perception – but more of the multi- sensory perception level. It was beautiful, but intimidating.
One example was the level of true and complete empathy I began to experience in my life over the past year. It started somewhere around the time of my precept study of 1 John. I think the closer I got to God, the more pain and suffering of others I could feel without them even telling me.
It was such a surreal and bizarre experience that I didn’t talk about it much for fear of being labeled the crazy lady, but I feel as if God was letting me get glimpses here and there of how He sees not only His children, but all His creations.
Maybe it’s partly because my heart was not functioning properly and my lack of oxygen (literally – I had a blockage at that time in my widowmaker). Or maybe, just maybe, He was giving me an opportunity to see these things like this so I could just plain be a better person, and a sharer of His love, grace, and mercy.
Regardless, some of us believers do have depth. Some have lived the most interesting lives and been through the toughest of trials. Sometimes, it’s those heartaches and hurdles that made them feel that depth of disparity so hard and painful that they’d lost all resemblance of hope until they found themselves on their knees surrendering, and that’s how they came to know Christ, intimately.
I ask you not to label us all in one category or stereotype – just like with all cliches, we too can be alike, but there are some that are different, and even dare I say – deep.
Don’t be like I was. If you are not a believer – give us a chance. Just like any other religion or what have you, there are a plethora of personalities out here – with a past, with a depth, with war stories, and with love to share, and if needed or asked – our stories of depth as well.
We are all bruised somehow – no matter the religion, or lack thereof. We all could use the benefit of the doubt – no matter our personal belief (or lack thereof).