I’m not who you think I should be.
- I cuss like a drunken sailor at times.
- Black is my favorite color because no matter what color my hair is, black shirts, dresses, coats, etc. just look best on me.
- Speaking of hair, I like to wear mine a bit wild. This includes the color which changes permanently at times, other times it is spray in/wash out pinks or purples, or whatever color goes with the football team I’m cheering for or just the mood of the moment.
- I have a nose ring.
- I have 7 holes in my ears and sometimes enjoy filling each one.
- I have 3 tattoos and yes there WILL be more, including a full arm sleeve. No I will not cover it up to make you more comfortable.
- My favorite attire is jeans. I don’t own many or care to wear dresses. I don’t own many pairs of dress pants. I simply prefer and will wear jeans. Yes even to church.
- I like all genres of music.
After a brief time, I left what should be my church home because I felt judged upon my return from walking in darkness for a number of years. In fact I was judged. It made me mad to be honest. No one knew the heart of the woman that walked in there that day. Oh I was welcomed by many with open arms and even tears of joy. That going ‘home’ was one of the most difficult things for me to do. I knew some were more than aware of some of the paths I had walked since leaving ‘home’. The prodigal son has nothing on his sister, trust me on this. One day I will share that testimony of coming out of the darkness again and reaching for the light, but not now.
For a few weeks things were great and I was hungry for the food of God’s Word and the fellowship with other believers. I over indulged in wanting to reach out to others when this broken angel was the one needing healing. I was under a microscope, and some around me began to nitpick at every post I had on Facebook, my blogs on the other page, even a post about a song I totally related too was torn apart because the artist who wrote and sung the song is not a believer and if anything is the complete opposite in character of one. They missed the point of the post because they went all Pharisee on me instead of READING it and trying to understand what I was saying. Instead of feeling reconciled to my ‘family’ and the love and encouragement I so desperately needed, I felt like I was falling short and being judged by the outside of the vessel and not what was on the inside.
Outside, the part of me that others initially see before getting to really know me, is sometimes not what one would expect from a believer. I’m not the one to run around with a Christian sticker on my car so that every mistake I make driving (including a less than kind gesture with my hand) draws judgment upon my faith. I don’t outwardly wear or do much of anything that would draw attention or judgment to my beliefs. I prefer to let my story, my actions, and the things my right hand is doing apart from the knowledge of the left one, be my testimony, though at times those are indeed rather weak. Too many times I’ve watched those that “walk the talk” and have a certain way about them that seems all true believer, that impresses and draws the others praises, fall off the path in the worst of ways. Even some within the very body of believers I called home. It should be a glaring reminder to my brothers and sisters in Christ that anyone, regardless of their strength of faith, can and will disappoint you at times when they fall from grace. Don’t be so quick to judge the vessel by what is on the outside.
Those who would judge me by my jeans and black shirts, and the lyrics to a song by an artist far off the path, would have a field day with what I could share of my own fall. You who would pass judgment on me need time to accept me first. May I suggest that there is a enough debris in front of your own door to tend too that you ought not be so concerned about what is in front of mine. Indeed there is a spec (in all honesty several) in my eye, but you have plenty to contend with as you deal with the logs within your own. I have plenty of my own sins and short comings to deal with, I do not have the time to be busy pointing out yours.
My point to all this? Don’t judge me because I do not fit into the mold that you think I belong. I am not Betty Baptist or Suzy Sanctified and don’t own those masks. No mid-calf length jumpers and barely there makeup or sensible shoes for me. It is NOT my style or even comfortable on me. When I arrive on that pew again this Sunday, I will be dressed how I am comfortable. It will be modest, but it will be ME. I am not there to impress you with my clothes, or by saying the right phrases or buzz words of the day. When I again walk through that door I come as a sister in Christ, starving for the food of God’s Word, hungry for the fellowship of the fellow sinners saved by God’s grace and not anything of their own doing. I am there because as believers we are not to forsake the gathering with other like MINDED in faith. I am there to learn, be fed, praise and worship the Lord.
A dear friend and sibling in Christ, shared this with me: “It’s not that people necessarily deliberately judge or are unkind; they just think they know what you should be like….and don’t understand that you simply aren’t what they think you should be.” I am NOT who you think I should be. I am a broken angel, my wings are tattered and torn, dirty and wounded. But I am who the Lord has made me, a work in progress and an ever changing (for the better when I let Him do the work) vessel. I’ve flown through storms of my own choosing, and yet I was and am exactly where He would have me to be. I don’t fit into your mold, but if you can look past the outside and into my heart, you’ll see a long lost sister who has come home and needs to be with her faith family again. If you cannot hug and love me for who I am, the unique, special, marvelous creation spoken of in Psalm 139, then you sit on your pew and I’ll sit on mine. I’m not there for you. I’m not there for God’s mercy. I’m there because of God’s mercy, I’m there for Him and Him alone.