I identify as a Christian. I don’t think anybody who knows me would be surprised by this. When once asked about what difference my faith makes, I quickly answered, “I have a transformed life because of it”. I can’t imagine this life without this faith.
It is all too easy for Christians to misrepresent Christ. I’m not here to point fingers at others in this. I’m here to point a finger at myself. One of the most common complaints I hear from the world is that Christians are a bunch of hypocrites. Over the course of my life I have come to believe that the issue people have isn’t so much that Christians mess up, it’s more that we don’t admit it and continue to claim the moral high ground. Therein lies the hypocrisy, and I’m certain I have contributed to it. I am here to acknowledge that I do things wrong all the time: some lie deep in my heart and I mask well, others are blatantly obvious. When I describe myself as having a transformed life, I am not claiming that I have it all together. Friends, I am far from it.
I do believe that God knows and sees all of my wrongs, including those things I have hidden away. In God I have discovered a grace that covers all these things. I am forgiven. I am constantly aware of the now and not-yet aspect of my faith though: while I am completely forgiven I am not yet whole. In the context of my faith I have to work out the fact that I need to receive mercy over and over for continuing to do those things I actually hate.
What I desire to do is choose love, again and again and again. I choose what Christ said Himself: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” What sounds simple is astonishingly hard.
I have sought out community, both in Parkdale and elsewhere that endeavours to acknowledge what much of the world thinks we don’t (or won’t): our individual and collective brokenness. In these places I am learning to love God, to love myself and to love others. I am learning what it means to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly. I am grieved when my humanness gets in the way of people seeing the true Christ and relieved when I remember that it isn’t just up to me.
“Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”. Oh God, make it so.