Good morning, Cyberspace!
Last week, I heard something that made me seriously think. I was told, encouraged, and inspired to do something–be something–that is not necessarily normal, nor easy, for me to be.
I was told to be bold.
as usual, I know exactly what you are thinking.
“Kenzie,” you say. “What do you mean you’re not bold? You’re, like, way too bold. You’re bolder than those extremely annoying Butterfinger commercials screaming at me to be bolder than bolder than bolder than bold.”
And to that I must say, “Why, thank you.”
But alas–no. You are wrong.
See, I can be bold when it comes to my writing. I can shriek at you like the tiny pterodactyl hatchling that I am and pound my meaty fists on the table while drilling my latest manuscript woes into your tiny, susceptible noggins, all in the name of being a bold writer.
I can throw cookies in the air and stuff pom-poms in your face to cheer you on when you’re having a bad day, and give you virtual muffins and cocoa and whatever it is to try and get you to crack a smile and know that you are loved, all in the name of being a bold bloggy friend.
But when it comes to my faith?
Well. When it comes to that, I am a coward.
Even now, as I type these very words, I’m questioning whether I’m going to post this. And it isn’t even because I’m worried about the way people will view me. From what I know, the vast majority of you are also Christians. I’ve read your blogs. I’ve seen your profiles. I know the interests you blast into the blogosphere, just as I blast my own Christianity into the Great and Terrible Cyberspace by way of my profile and the About The Authors page. It’s right there, visible to all who’d spare a glance:
‘Mackenzie Keene is a Christian…’
And that’s it. One sentence. One word. That is all I’ve given to honor the most important decision I’ve ever made.
That is all I’ve given to honor the most important person in my entire life.
And why? Why is that all I’ve done, when there are so many opportunities that I can grasp to tell God’s Word through this blog? Why, when there are so many lives that can be touched with even a simple verse, have I refrained from even posting that?
The answer is really quite simple.
When it comes to speaking about faith, I am a coward.
And I’ll tell you why.
When a Christian talks about their faith to a non-Christian, or even other Christians, there are two ways it can be perceived.
Option One– The ‘Haughty’
Now, I know you know what I’m talking about here, so don’t even try to deny it.
Know that I know that you know.
The ‘Haughty’ happens when a Christian is talking about their faith, not to boost the faith of another Christian, or to show God’s all-consuming love to non-Christians, but to boost themselves in the eyes of their peers. They use their Christianity and their faith in Christ, their knowledge of the Bible and their own profound ‘holiness’, to make themselves look…flawless.
And that, dear beans, is not what Christianity is.
Christianity is knowing that we are flawed.
And when I say flawed, I mean flawed. Think blackened sins waging on in our shattered hearts. Think minds filled with anxiety and fear. Think severe, incredible weakness because we know that we can do nothing on our own.
And so, because of that–because we realize how severely and incredibly weak and guilty and flawed we really are–we turn to the One who is flawless. The One who picks us up, and–instead of making us stumble through our lives on our shaky, quivering knees–carries us in His arms and fills us with hope. The One who refreshes our souls and puts a joy so profound into our hearts that there is no more room for the darkness.
Christians are not people who are ‘Holier than Thou’. Christians are people who have realized that they are weak. People who realize they are frail. People who realize that they are not ‘holy’, and therefore turn to the One who is.
But that can sometimes not be the case when we talk about our Christianity. Sometimes Christians are ‘The Haughty’, trying to make themselves taller than others, when really, we just need to be–
Option Two– The ‘Joy’
I know you’ve seen it. That person, that one person in your life who is just so filled with joy that you look at them and think–
But the answer is simple:
And when you talk to this person, even about the most dumb, arbitrary things, you can’t help but notice this beautiful light inside of them, a light that is so rare to find in this world of darkness that you can’t help but want it too.
And no, I don’t mean some giant blaring spotlight that gets thrown upon them for “THE ULTIMATE CHRISTIAN AWARD!”
Because that’s just wrong.
I’m talking the little light. The small light. The soft light that can never die.
Unlike that giant spotlight that’s eventually going to crash and burn and need about thirty electricians before it’s up and running again, this little light is always there, always shining, and never goes out.
Sure, sometimes it flickers and dims, but still it burns on, and anyone who cares to look will find it.
Now, the ‘Joy’ is different than the ‘Haughty’, because, when they talk about their faith, or about God, or just about anything, it is not to elevate themselves on a pedestal of fabricated holiness, but to bring light to another person’s life, whether that person is a Christian, a non-Christian, or an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (my personal favorite).
And you can tell the difference. The ‘Joy’ does not care if people know how flawed they are; they agree to it heartily themselves. They know they are sinners, they know they have issues, and they know that, through God, they are made stronger through it all. They have joy and hope, because their strength and happiness is in God, and when they talk, it is to share that joy and hope and strength with you. Not to brag about it and gloat.
And this is where I come to my dilemma.
Cyberspace, I want so badly to be a ‘Joy’. I want to be able to share my faith with people, rather than at them. But I am so, so worried that no matter how hard I try, I’m going to come across as a ‘Haughty’.
Because it is within every Christian’s power to do so when remained unchecked.
And let’s be honest for a moment here: I get carried away.
And it is because of this (possibly irrational, but most likely completely rational) fear of coming across as snotty that I have refrained from posting this for months.
And I still have that fear. I am still afraid to do what I feel called to do, and that is to set aside even a tiny little piece of this blog to the One who I owe my entire life to.
And, quite frankly, I don’t think that fear will ever go away entirely.
But today, I choose to be brave. I choose to be a little bit different than your average writing blog. I choose to be, 100% and completely, me.
And I am nothing without God.
So here’s what I’m going to do:
I’m going to start sharing my faith more through this blog. Whether it is through a simple Bible verse to inspire you and me and all the cookies each week, or even through the occasional post, I am going to do my best to be a ‘Joy’, to share my faith boldly, stifling the fear that constantly cripples me.
But I’m also going to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground where they belong, for I am also determined that there shall be no high and mighty pedestals ’round here.
(The ‘keeping my feet planted on the ground’ statement is completely metaphoric, because obviously my dragon wings need to be stretched every once in a while, or they’ll tear, and then it’s blood and vein tendrils everywhere, and really it’s just a giant, slightly terrifying mess, to be honest.)
And if there ever comes a time when I do flounce my arrogant self up on top of a shining pedestal, feel free to knock me down with your favorite baseball bat, hatchet, pitchfork, or any other–preferably murderous and slightly sharp–objects.
Thou hast my permission.
Because yes. I–the Smudgiest Thought–am a Christian.
Chances are, so are you.
And it is time, dear beans, for us to be brave.
So… This post was not my normal Smudge, was it? Not exactly funny. Not exactly sarcastic… In fact this was almost too much severity for me to even handle. Hopefully I did not kill you with the seriousness.
But, please be honest… What do you think? Are you excited for this new change? Obviously, there will still be the plethora of random writerly facts to badger you with each week, but hopefully every once in a while I can be a little shining light to the Great and Terrible Cyberspace. So what do you think, Cyberspace?
What do you think?