The Accidental Christian

1 Apr

I never planned on being Christian. Sure I was raised Catholic but I didn’t get the whole Jesus thing. I didn’t understand why he was supposed to be my friend and the idea of being nailed to a cross creeped me out.

As a teenager, I was even more suspect. If Jesus really was the Son of God, he could have done anything to save himself. Was he stupid? Why didn’t he pull a super hero move and make a beeline out of there? And why didn’t God just take a torch and blow up the place? I never realized that Jesus acquiescing with the crucifixion was a courageous choice. This was God and Jesus, acting in tandem to redeem the world. I just thought Christianity was advocating a life as a spineless victim.

Then five years ago my mother took her life.

When people are suicidal the last thing we want them to think is that they are a burden or that the world would be better off without them. The shame one feels when depressed is profound enough without these additional thoughts. And yet in the end, this is what my mom thought and this is something I have to live with and grieve. I carry with me the guilt that I couldn’t somehow save her but I also hold within me her sacrifice that infused me with life because of her profound love.

When it comes to love there is a selfless quality to it. John 15:13 states, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

I had been taught that Jesus loved me but I didn’t understand what that meant. Yet when I looked at the image of a cross and wedded it with the knowledge that my mother had taken her life in order that I might live, I suddenly understood the crucifixion as the ultimate act of love. My mom had become the sacrificial lamb. This knowledge hit me on a cellular level, coursed through my veins, and ultimately transformed me. Stunned by the unnerving presence of love, I dropped to my knees in awe of this amazing grace. In that moment I was saved. I was redeemed. All the years of anguish and worry and heartbreak were being washed away. The years the locusts had eaten were being restored. Jesus healed me in that moment with his touch, as he had the lepers, the prostitutes and the blind. I was a female Lazarus being raised from the dead. Grafted into the vine, I had new life.

3 Responses to “The Accidental Christian”

  1. ginapoet April 1, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. May the beauty and love of your mother continue to live on in you.

  2. mimmtt April 1, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    Wow! Amen my friend. What a post, thank you for sharing.

  3. lisesletters April 1, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    Thank you for your kind comments!

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