So today I was out shopping with my kids for a teacher present at a local boutique in our lovely coastal town. This normal every day kind of outing turned into what felt like a covert operation in the end. It started out innocent enough. My kids and I were looking at beautiful local hand made jewelry in the shop and I was admiring some of the handiwork of one of my talented friends. I casually mentioned that I knew the jewelry designer. The store worker's eyes lit up and she asked, "Oh really, where from?" It just so happens that the designer is a Christian. My brain went into warp speed and I'm not sure if it was Holy Spirit or my quick deductive reasoning, but I realized that I was 99.9% positive that this person was a church going Christian, (CGC for short.) Normally my response would have been, "I know her from church friends." But instead my response came out, "I know her through friends." I felt this answer was honest, although not detailed honest, which isn't lying after all. Her response was an unenthusiastic, "Oh." Lucky for me my daughter didn't like the store wares, so we were off quickly. The lady pleasantly told me that if we didn't find what we wanted we were welcome to come back. In the back of my head I heard, "Not a chance in he** lady!"
When I got home I had a chance to sit down and analyze what had transpired. I realized that for the first time in my life I had zero desire to make a new connection with a possible CGC. I had no inkling of desire to further envelope myself into the Christian bubble so to speak...so I didn't. At first I questioned myself - was it really ok to not let this person know who I was? Does Jesus call us to be friend every believer we come across? I feel that as Christians we have a sort of false openness at times. Just because we have Jesus in common we are expected to open up every orifice of our being and leave no stone unturned. But is this really what Jesus expects us to do, or is this something the church has told us is "right?"
I have friends, friends who are Christians and friends who aren't Christians. I have deep relationships with some of these friends, (and yes, some of them aren't Christians!) They know the things close to my heart, my happy moments, my not so happy moments, and everything in between. When it comes down to it we humans were created with a free will. If Jesus doesn't force himself into our lives then why should we allow others to? Is it ok for me as a believer to have only one toe in the CGC community?
I have to say I'm quite proud of myself for the words I used today in that store. I think it was a small breakthrough for me. I drew the line for myself. I chose whether or not to enter into the Christian bubble, and right then I wasn't feeling it. Maybe the next time I will...but for today the store down the street will do. (Oh, and the teacher loved the present!)