Monday, July 2, 2012

When Grace Gets Real

Christians who don't live with bars on either side of their eyes,
Who haven't been set rigidly in place,
Who aren't always organized, who mess up sometimes,
I learn the most about grace from those people.

I was in the wedding of my childhood friend, Emily, two weekends ago.
One of the groomsmen, the groom's best friend, drums for the band Twenty One Pilots.
My conversation with Josh truly affirmed what I think I've always known.

It was so interesting, when he asked me, "Why did you want to go to a Christian school?"
I was at a loss for words.
He's standing there, one arm completely covered in a tattoo sleeve of a tree;
And I'm at a loss for words.

And, for a split second, I find myself judging him for that tattoo.

See, the thing about going to a Christian school is,
You might start developing a picture in your mind of what "Christian" looks like.
Even me, who solemnly promised herself
That she would never be like that, would never do that...
...Would not judge the books by their covers, the people by their tattoos, the girls by their hem length,
Suddenly found herself
A professional.

The summer before college, I'm standing in a basement packed full of Believers,
At a church with no worship group, or even church sanctuary,
Who look nothing like this picture in my mind.
And they're there for the free Christian Apologetics class-
On a Sunday morning.

They weren't getting college credit,
but it was packed-
-Wall to Wall.

There was never enough time for all the questions...
And...woah. The questions.
These people were really brave, unabashed to ask what everyone was thinking.

At a Christian college, these people would most likely be considered
Heavily liberal, over-worldly, doubters
They would get demerits for their clothing
And their cussing
And their (not-getting-drunk) drinking

But they're faith is real.
They are alive in God's grace
They are truly unafraid

When I got to college
I missed them

In Old Testament, with engaged-to-be-married boys in my row
And sitting in front of me,
I had to answer the Song of Solomon question

In Politics, I was the lone
Liberally-inclined thinker in the room
People responded to me like I was a feminist lesbian (Heaven forbid!)

But did I care?
Not really.
But it gets kind of lonely, swimming against the current;
Understanding what it means to be
True to who God made you to be,
Not true to how everyone else looks and acts.

My answer to Josh's question?
"I'm a Christian!"
He blank-stared at me,
And it was in that moment that I remembered...

Those bars?
Their self-imposed.
That culture?
Can be crippling.
That fear?
Is worthless.

I'm remembering what it means to live in God's freedom,
Learning how to love those who squander themselves by not asking questions
And trying their damndest to live lives that look like everyone else's.

And please, do yourself a favor and don't care what other people think about you.
Stop censoring yourself, stop second-guessing;
God is bigger, and you don't have to play by rules that don't matter.

Lyrics that inspired this post:
Little Lion Man; Mumford & Sons

Weep for yourself, my man,
You'll never be what is in your heart
Weep Little Lion Man,
You're not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself,
Take all the courage you have left
Wasted on fixing all the problems
That you made in your own head....

....Your grace is wasted in your face,
Your boldness stands alone among the wreck

Brother; Matt Corby

Wait there
Pull yourself out of this state, dear
Acknowledge you were a fake here
From there on you might just grow

Guns For Hands; Twenty One Pilots

The solution is, I see a whole room of these mutant kids,
Fused at the wrist, I simply tell them they should shoot at this,
Simply suggest my chest and this confused music,
It's obviously best for them to turn their guns to a fist.

I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep,
I'm trying, I'm trying to sleep,
But I can't, but I can't when you all have,
Guns for hands.

No comments:

Post a Comment