Yesterday I bought a new computer. After working and saving for over a year, the last check was finally deposited. I intended to wait until my husband got home from work to go with me, but I just didn’t have the patience. After verifying that the money was in my account, printing a shopping cart page showing what features I wanted, and even calling to make sure the computer was in stock, I headed for the Apple Store.
Most of us have a place where we love to shop—where we love to simply be. Yours may be Pottery Barn or Target; T.J. Maxx or Anthropologie (I confess I’ve never been); Barnes & Noble or Walmart. For me it’s the Apple Store.
The employee practically high-fived me when he heard what I’d come to buy. I handed over my printed shopping cart page and he rang it up right there in the middle of the store. I couldn’t stop smiling.
And then he showed me that my debit card wasn’t approved.
Thankfully I’ve discovered a small-town bank in a big city. I called my local branch; the employee who answered the phone recognized my voice and I recognized hers; and at the end of 10-15 agonizingly long minutes the iMac was mine.
Knowing the money was in the bank and I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one on the Apple Store was the only thing that kept me standing there, arms pinned to my side to hide the sweat, communicating with both parties until the transaction was complete instead of ducking my head in embarrassment and walking away.
Sometimes this is what it feels like to be a Christian in a secular world.
You know you’re on the right side—ultimate truth is in Christ—which gives you faith in your position, but the world sure can make you squirm and sweat.
My husband and I are movie buffs, whether at the theater or sitting in our living room. Twice in the last month we’ve seen Christians portrayed on the screen in a way that made us cringe, once in a movie with at least one current Oscar nomination, once in the middle of the fourth season of a five season TV show we stream obsessively at home from Netflix.
As Christians we are followers of Christ and our lives should speak love and mercy, joy and laughter, not the rigid-jawed, thin-lipped self-righteousness of the Pharisees that I saw portrayed. Too often that’s the stereotype that you and I face in this world. It’s our job to dispel it—to stand firm when other employees steal from the company; other students cheat; or other women badmouth their husbands—because our principles have a foundation.
Even when the situation makes you sweat.
We serve a God who isn’t hindered by technical glitches and whose account is never empty, his grace and mercy ever-abundant.
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” ~ Romans 8:31
Was there a time in your life when your faith in God enabled you to stand firm in a hard place?
by Dawn Camp, My Home Sweet Home