People are talking more since Sept. 11. Are writers writing more? This one is.
|W e M u s t B e B o l d
by Marilyn Mackenzie
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On Tuesday afternoon, I had the opportunity to talk with many people in some business and government offices. All expressed horror, of course, about what had transpired just hours before. But, a more surprising common chord was the desire to talk about God, prayer, matters of faith.
As I thought about these conversations, I was pleased that people within our community were standing proudly, announcing pride in country and the flag, and just as proudly and humbly, a belief in God. Then I thought, "What if we had all been standing proudly for our country and humbly before our God these past 30 years? Would this have happened to us then?" I have to wonder.
I once taught a vacation Bible school class for a group of five year old kids. The experience, the things those children taught me, I speak of often. One little boy made a lasting impression on me when he announced that, "Having Jesus in your heart is like having mayonnaise in your tuna sandwich. Unless the mayonnaise is really mixed into the tuna, the tuna is yucky. And if we don’t have Jesus mixed up in our whole life, our life is yucky too." I imagine that was a message this young child had heard in a children’s sermon. But, it was a lesson he remembered and was able to pass on – to me, his teacher.
How true that lesson is! And as I sit here thinking about that, I realize that no government can tell me that I can’t speak of my love of the Lord Jesus in my work place or in a school environment. Christianity is not just a religion. It’s a relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and our Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Governments and employers can’t tell us with whom we may have relationships. And if they allow others to speak of their best friend, Jim, at the water cooler, then they must allow me to speak of my best friend, Jesus. If others care not to hear the story of Jim once again, they are free to walk away or turn a deaf ear. But, his friends are just as free to talk about him. The same should apply to me and my friend Jesus. If one doesn’t care to hear about my friend, let him walk away or turn a deaf ear. But, in this country, I should have the right to speak of my friend everywhere I go!
I know one gentleman who is convinced that if a streetlight turns off as he passes by, it’s the UFO’s blessing him. As crazy as that sounds to most of us, as a public school substitute teacher he was free to share this belief with the kids in his class. But another Christian friend, who is full of the joy of the Lord, cannot respond truthfully to students when asked, "Why are you always so happy?" Nonsense! Of course she can and must tell students that the reason she’s so happy, the reason she can still rejoice even in the midst of tragedy, is that she has a relationship with Jesus and her joy comes from the Lord. With Jesus mixed through and through, as the mayonnaise in a tuna sandwich, Christ is part of her very being. No one can ask her to leave a part of her personality, her very being, at home while she works.
When we are in love with a person, we talk about them. We proudly show the engagement ring we just received. Why don’t we all proclaim proudly that we love the Lord? Because someone told us we couldn’t? Why have we allowed ourselves to be silenced?
If asked what is your favorite book, one proudly should admit that the Holy Bible is your favorite book. Whether a teacher or government official or business leader, if asked, we must be able to answer honestly. No one can make us lie or pretend that another book is our favorite.
You might wonder what all of this has to do with the tragedies of this week. I believe they are related. I believe that the world has watched our inner turmoil. I believe the world has watched the "civil war" we’ve raged for years about whether or not we are free to be Christians anywhere we go, or whether we’re only free to be who we are while with others of like mind or when we’re at home or in church. The world has watched as Christians have become closet Christians, attending church and leaving the armor of God at the church steps. The government and people whose opinions differ from ours have forced us into silence. I believe the world has watched what was once such a strong, proud, patriotic, and God-fearing country become weakened by these struggles about matters of faith.
Throughout the country, people are being brought to their knees. They are, now, boldly talking about God in their offices, are praying with co-workers and fellow students. Let us continue to be bold!
People are being urged to fly the flag proudly in their homes, offices, even in their cars. Fantastic. Let’s show the world we’re united and stand behind our President.
Let’s do more, though, folks. Let’s take our Bibles to work as well. Put one on your desk or in your bookshelf at the office, and read it and pray on your coffee breaks. Have Bible study or prayer meetings at the workplace. Post the Ten Commandments on your wall.
Let’s be bold, as our forefathers were, for the Lord!