Saturday, August 25, 2007

Teachers...Questions...Christians

"Teachers arise from somewhere within me that is beyond me, the way the dark soil that is not the root holds the root and feeds the flower." --Mark Nepo

this morning i was invited to visit a young friend's new blog. he has recently left home for college and finds himself staying at the home of Christian friends. his post displayed many of his interior and exterior battles as he tries to navigate living with people whose religious beliefs he finds "a bit hard" for him.

it is so rich to have friends of all ages, genders, religions and life experiences. we have much to learn from each other. everyone is our teacher if we open ourselves to the possibility. this young man's post led me to respond to him with the questions i continue to ask myself as i walk through this journey toward and with God, so i thought i would share my response with you.

"just wondering what defines a "Christian" for you? i ask myself the same question all the time.

having grown up in a pretty traditional "Christian" place, i have found that the more i realize the expansiveness of the mystery of God and the universe and the lack of absolutes, the closer i come to knowing (truly knowing) that the way of God is love (which is so ethereal and impossible to adequately describe with words).

is love then the way of "Christians"? i know it doesn't always appear that way especially when we witness the "battles over denomination" and the "badgering toward salvation."

i have to wonder, however, what your hosts see in you that would lead them to believe you are "Christian". could it be the love you show toward others?

i hope and pray you will continue to ask yourself the questions and you will see the beautiful young man who can choose to live in love.

I fully believe that Christ's way is that of love...Does that therefore make those who love deeply and well Christians? many would say no, but many are opening their minds and hearts to reconsider what "love" and "Christian" truly represent."


while i wrote these words to my young friend, they were also written for myself and now also to those who will read them here. what does it mean to be "Christian?" what does it mean to love? what do you think?

7 comments:

Sunrise Sister said...

I think your questions and answers to your young friend are great. He may actually think about what you've written to him.

I think it's important to send words to our young friends even when they may not be ready to hear or believe our words now....hopefully someday they will remember them as their own original thoughts.....real sponges start small and supposedly will absorb all until they are killed in some way....I think I made that part up...:)

Country Parson, http://countyparson.blogspot.com usually has some nice words for young Christians, maybe I'll consult with him......do you think we'll drown your young man? We don't wanna do that.

Tess said...

I really like what you've written to your young friend. (As I write this, I realise what a difference we mean by the expressions "young friend" and "old friend" - the first related specifically to age and the second to the longevity of the friendship, although it could also be the age of the friend. I rather like the idea of new friends being referred to as young friends. The friendship itself being young, like a sapling. But I digress. Totally.)

I'm intrigued by what you say in your final italicised paragraph. If I understand correctly, you are saying that perhaps anyone who lives deeply by love is Christian, and that does not have to include specifically Christian belief.

By this token, because all the great faiths are at their core great love, we are all Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Bahai's.

Freefall. I love it.

lucy said...

thank you for weighing in, sunrise sis & tess.

tess, i love your words re: young and old friends. in this case "young" fits into both categories (age and newness of relationship).

re: you have interpreted well my last thought which remains for me one of the great questions...if we follow the way of Christ (i.e. love for God, our neighbors and ourselves) does that make us Christian? this is where words get so tricky because we do not know from what definition people are operating.

i think i will stop this reply here. i feel another post coming on :-)

peace.

Sunrise Sister said...

Lucy - I think my post today has to do with God, Love, Spirituality also...it's an experience that may sound vaguely like a part of your life experience as well....:)

lucy said...

great post, ss and yes it is very reminiscent of a particular instance...hmmm...maybe i need to pull that one out again and share...

Shelby said...

Love. Sacrificial love. Christ's words . . "Feed my sheep."

It's doing. As opposed to being.

Enjoyed your post very much.

lucy said...

shelby--
i wonder sometimes if the "doing" is in our "being"...hmmm...