My coolest friend thinks she's uncool. God and I think differently.
Last night at our Girls Group we talked at length about insecurities and how they can lead to poor decisions (and even outright shockingly bad decisions). But the single thing that stuck with me the most, was you saying that you’re uncool.
How completely and utterly wrong you are, my dear.
I can say, with total honesty, that you are one of the coolest people I know. You’re the funny one. The huggable, loveable, all-embracing, bring-it-on-sister one. You are the friend people turn to when they are hurt, frightened, overwhelmed. You are the friend who offers sensible ‘worldly’ advice - peppered with the Spirit and tempered with holy compassion. Do you realise what a rare gift that is? To be able to comfort and encourage people with a wisdom that is both ‘spiritual’ and ‘practical’?
So many people compartmentalise God and the World. You can have one but not the other, they claim. I can tell you what the World would say, or I can tell you what God would say - but they never marry up, they say. You have the ability to blend the two together; not in a fashion that ever waters down what Christ proclaims, but in a manner that makes Jesus accessible to even the most stubborn-headed (for that, read me).
Admittedly, this might not be the definition of cool, but wait for it, girlfriend, I’m not done yet. A university friend of mine once described a leader at a youth outreach; “he was everything most Christians I knew, weren’t. He was cool. He made Jesus cool. I wanted to be just like him - and make being a Christian, make knowing Jesus, cool.”
Well that’s you and Katrina to me.
You make being mates with the Big JC (see? I was listening to your ramblings ) awesome. Something to chase after. You make Jesus the guy to hang out with - the only guy to hang out with. The super-awesome friend everyone talks about. The one your other mates can’t wait to meet because you talk about him so much, and make him sound rockin’.
One day, I’ll understand how you can juggle being a single mum with work, youth work, caring for your young cousins and sisters, and being a support act for so many confused, befuddled and downright messed up people. But for now, just take it from me,
you are cool.
You are amazing. You are a multitalented woman with a gift of love, wisdom and open-heartedness that few can match. You are beautiful; don’t give me that look. You are. You are stunningly pretty, sexy and damn hot - and I’m not jealous at all. Okay, maybe a bit. Or a lot. And always have been.
Also, I want your dance moves. Yeah, the ones you laugh about. Because girl, when you worship, it’s not just your heart that’s praising God, but your whole body; and you give it all over to Christ with a confidence that I have never felt. When I pick up a banner, I feel like a twerp (good English word there, my Portuguese friend). When you wave a flag, you look triumphant. Determined. Successful. In fact, you look like you belong there in God’s presence.
Mariana, you come before God in prayer with the justification of a little girl coming before her doting daddy; knowing that her ‘demands’ are exactly what he wants to give her in the first place. You speak to God in the easy terms of friendship and trust that are just mind-blowing to people who have never stood before Him as children that truly understand His love. You come before Him with the confidence and hand-clutching devotion that Miniana shows you. In the same way Mini runs to you for everything; for comfort, for strength, for cuddles, for acceptance, for reassurance, for someone to play with and just be with - so I see you run to Jesus. And in exactly the same way I see you scoop Mini up into your arms and blank the entire world (because in that moment Mini is your entire world), so I see Jesus grab you and swing you round, laughing with joy and happiness. Because His little girl adores Him and has run to Him again, to share her life.
So don’t you dare tell me you’re not cool, Mariana.
You make Jesus real to people who have never known Him. You show me that nothing in life is impossible (no matter how improbable or bloody difficult it might be). You take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.
And that is as cool as it gets.