What if faith is not based on the strength of your belief, but in The One who gave you that faith?
What if faith is not based on the amount you know, but in The One who knows you?
What if faith that is even feeble weak dried up half-steps towards Him is just enough for the next step?
What if faith is not measured in religious metrics like Bible-reading and church attendance and prayer time and loud singing, but in your messy love for Him and the people He has made?
What if faith was not about the mountains you could shake, but about the Son who climbed a hill with a cross to save you?
What if faith was preached in the pulpit not as a critical barometer of your works, but as the source we draw from for the work itself?
What if faith is just dang difficult, and God knew that, so He sent His Son who welcomed all doubts, questions, and confusion, and became the answer on a cross?
Originally posted here on my Tumblr.
You might have recently sent a Facebook invite to a close-ish friend you remember from that church revival four years ago, and then you get this kind of response:
I’m sorry bro, but I haven’t gone to church in a long time. I don’t know about all that anymore. But thanks for inviting me.
You’re not sure if you should follow up, ask what happened, drop a verse, dig in a little, or revert to small talk.
Most times though: we back up and move on. It’s not because you don’t care. It’s because it feels like that story is done and over, and maybe you’re supposed to give them a lot of room so you don’t look like a religious window-peering creeper, and you feel like they will come back if they really want to and you can just keep sending them invites in hopes that they’ll come out to one of your sweet, hi-tech, modernized church events.
Or maybe: your former friend is just waiting for you to press in.
Maybe their head is barely above water, they’re suffocating in a world of secret hurt, and you’re the only lifeline who’s come close to discovering the shipwreck below the surface.
During the winter season, I remember certain faces who used to come around church and I just start to miss everybody: the way it used to be, the raucous ragtag Sundays and senseless giggling and fist-pumping during praise and getting lunch in a giant group to talk afterward in the parking lot for hours.
Sometimes now I still see them online and they haven’t exactly gone prodigal, but they’ve just moved on. Graduated from church. Onto “real life.” It was another lifetime ago.
Continue reading “The Silent Departure: When Your Friend Walks Away From God and Out Of Your Life”