Originally published Monday, 29 October 2012.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation I want to share with you.
I met a woman and she said she was seeking something in her life. She described this pursuit as an uncomfortable feeling and she wasn't sure what to do with these emotions she was experiencing.
She wanted to know God.
She wanted to know the Church.
She wanted to have authentic relationships centered around love.
But the next few words that stumbled out of her mouth didn't surprise me:
"Nicki, just seems like everyone in the Church has got these motives that just make me sick. I feel judged, like people just want my money and I feel so guilty about my whole life every time I walk into church. I just always feel like there's a "catch" with God."
I didn't exactly know how to respond to this statement. But I had recently read an article that said when people are trying to work things out for themselves you should do 90% of the listening and 10% of the talking.
Pretty sure I had exceeded the 10% of this conversation, so I kept my mouth shut.
I tried to put myself in her position.
And sadly...I understood.
There are many people in the Church who have the wrong motives. It is all about a book sale, a platform, twitter followers, money or fame.
I think though, there's a question we need to be asking ourselves as followers of Christ.
How far am I willing to go for the gospel?
And I don't mean mileage-far.
I mean: uncomfortable, suck-up-my-pride, let people see the real me, giving to never to receive, thinking the best of everyone, saying sorry even if I wasn't wrong, putting others first, humbling myself, using what God has given me wisely and giving up everything I have.
So during this conversation I started taking inventory.
How far was I willing to go in that moment to allow her to see Jesus in me?
I gave up my words. I gave up my apologies for the body of Christ. I gave up my busy life that needed this conversation to end. I gave up my judgments of her. I gave everything I was in those defining moments and my soul whispered, “Jesus, just let her see you."
Because a beautiful thing happens when people just see Jesus.
It reminds me of this verse in Proverbs:
"If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed." -Proverbs 29:18
I don't know what my new friend is up to today. I don't know where her heart is. I don't know if she has made peace with her feelings of being uncomfortable.
But I know this; she was an incredible teacher that day.
She taught me the beauty of letting myself go far in order that Jesus might be revealed to her. No, nothing profound was said off my tongue. There were no bold statements of faith or beautifully spoken words.
And I cannot help but think of what the impact of the name of Jesus would be on this world if we were always willing to go...that far.
What about you? I'd love to hear from you about a time you were willing to set something aside so that someone could "just see Jesus." Leave a comment and share your story with our community.
[The winner of the Greater book and DVD giveaway is.... Shelly Faust! Thank you everyone for entering.]