It’s hard being a Christian.
If I believe and try to follow the Bible, what I learn in church and may even feel passionately about, the reality is I don’t usually know how or have the confidence to live it out. What does it look like to love my friend who’s a lesbian? What constitutes condoning or critiquing? How do I speak up for the unborn? If I write a post about abortion, my pro-life friends will love it and my pro-choice friends will hate it. I’ve polarized instead of proselytized.
“Love God and Love People,” the t-shirt says. How? How do I love and follow God and His Word without making people feel like I’m judging, hating or think I’m better than them?
I have no idea.
But these things and people matter to me. I love my friend who is gay. We’ve cried together because she’s been hurt by Christians. I’ve cried and lamented to her because I can’t pick and choose the parts of the Bible that are easy – for me or for her. I cringed when I read that a leading cause of death in the U.S. is abortion. I have close friends who’ve had abortions. I love them and my pro-choice friends, but I cannot reconcile, reason or rationalize that statistic.
I believe in the core of my soul I will give an account for my life, actions and words, or lack thereof, someday. What will I say?
I have no idea.
I recently read about a man who wanted to help an acquaintance who was going through something terrible. He wanted to help in a big way but for various legitimate reasons, couldn’t. He wanted to be a “stretcher-bearer,” but couldn’t. So he did what he could do. He did something.
He carried the Band-Aids.
I’ve no idea how to be a Billy Graham or Mother Teresa kind of Christian. I lack confidence and knowledge. I can’t field big questions or spiritual controversies. I can’t be an EMT, but I can definitely carry Band-Aids.
I can continue being a friend to my friend who’s gay. She’s easy to love and although I don’t always know what to say or do where we don’t agree, I don’t have to. That’s God’s part. My part is to bring Band-Aids and I can’t do that if I don’t show up.
I’m going to start volunteering in June at a pregnancy clinic in Milwaukee that cares about forging relationships with women who are pregnant, afraid and confused. I’m also going to keep praying daily for the unborn.
Following Jesus isn’t as hard as I’ve made it, I suppose. It’s as easy as doing something small to love people. It’s more about doing than saying. It’s as easy as bringing Band-Aids to the hurting, instead of banners to a cause. It’s as easy as showing up where the Lord calls us, to the people He puts in front of us.
After all, that’s what Jesus did.