Some time ago I was having lunch with a colleague who I knew to be devout in her faith. I noticed the little gold cross around her neck was tangled in her collar. I reached out to help her straighten it until it hung on the outside of her sweater.
“Thanks,” she said and grabbed the delicate chain, “but I have to keep this on the inside of my clothes at work.”
Obviously she’d been told somewhere in her career that symbols of faith should not be worn in the workplace. Perhaps those who believed differently would find it distracting or inappropriate. Maybe she’d been flat-out instructed not to bring her faith to work. Whatever the case, I understood – but I didn’t have to like it.
The question is: Are you wearing your faith on the outside of your shirt whenever possible? Or are you keeping it hidden because it’s the easy thing to do?
It’s not hard to share your testimony or invite someone to hear a special speaker at your church when you’re safely within your own group of fellow believers. It becomes a lot harder to step out when you don’t know what or who you’re dealing with. But isn’t that exactly when God expects us to? Just remember that more than half the people you’ll cross paths with today are having a worse day than you are – and a lot of them have not experienced Christ-like love or encouragement.
The challenge: Wear your faith on the outside of your shirt in 2009. Invite someone to church, tell that struggling mother of teenagers about your awesome youth group, keep church brochures in your car for that new person in your neighborhood…you get the idea. What’s the worst that can happen? A blank stare? A polite or not-so-polite “no, thank you”?
Not all encounters will be met with a positive response, but the one that does is the one that makes a difference. And the difference depends on how you wear your faith.
Carla Rossi is the author of Limited Light and Almost Home.
Visit Carla at http://www.carlarossi.com/ or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.