People often ask me who my target audience is when I write this blog. Well, I’ll tell you. The person I think of is a twenty-something who is sitting down at a desk in a secular job and just needs a little reminder that God is there and intimately interwoven in the fabric of their day if they have eyes to see. I pray that it will be encouraging and that it will help us take God seriously, but ourselves not so much.
That said, of course I’m grateful that anyone shows up here, regardless of my “target”!! I write this also to pay attention to the work of God in my life and hold myself accountable too. There are universal themes we all struggle with regardless of our age or season of life.
Anyway, all that to say that yesterday when I wrote about the extremes of being afraid of being a “Bozo for Jesus” or of denying my faith, it was because it’s something I need to pay attention to and try to get better at. I’m going to take a risk and share a tiny way that played out in my life yesterday…
There’s someone who has become a good friend through tennis. She’s terrific and I love having her as a doubles partner. She has been struggling with an injury and called yesterday with an update, saying she might have to have surgery.
Here’s the thing. I don’t know what she believes. There are clues that she isn’t a follower of Jesus, but I don’t know. She could be an undercover nun for all I know.
I was very aware of the post that I had just written so I was half praying as I talked to her. The temptation was to just sympathize with her, shut up, and move on. After all, it’s not like she said, “I may have to have surgery. Do you think Jesus cares?”
After commiserating I said, “I don’t know if you’re a praying person, but I am, and I’ll be praying for you and the doctors.”
In retrospect, what I wish I had said was, “I don’t know if you’re a praying person, but I am. Would you be offended if I said I’d be praying for you and the doctors?” That would have given her an opening to respond if she wanted to. And the option to say “Yes, I really am offended. Quit praying for me!”
Like I said, this is just a tiny thing, but it’s something I’m trying to pay attention to. I’m trying to be both sensitive and authentic. Respectful of our differences, but true to my faith.
What would you have said? What experiences have you had in this area?