Sitting in a room full of people. Friends you have had for many years. They know almost everything there is to know about you. Mind you everyone has their secrets, but for the most part you are an open book. You are surrounded by the ones you love, who are closest to you, yet you feel completely alone.
This happened just this weekend. Was with a great group of friends, some who I see daily, and some who I have not seen in years. All is going great. We are at a restaurant, we are about to eat, and someone asks, “Ok who wants to pray?” Someone finally breaks the awkward silence and says the prayer. And that’s whey my skin starts to crawl. I get annoyed, kind of angry and then just start to smile and laugh to myself.
Maybe being a former youth pastor who was completely burnt out and pretty much having my entire faith in question I tend to be a little sensitive about things. I tend to watch the person praying, or leading worship and then the people around them, see how they are responding as the prayer is being prayed. Let me just tell you quick how this prayer went….
“Father God thanks, thanks for being here with us father god, and father god help our conversation be glorifying to you father god. Father God thanks that we can get together and enjoy each other father god…..”
This went on for a while. But you get the idea….I am pretty sure Father God did too.
Of course being the rude person I am I thought it would be funny to start talking like he did while he prayed. At first no one really picked up on what I was doing, but eventually I think my point was made. My conversations went something like this:
“Josh, how is your coke Josh. Josh did you have a nice evening with your family josh. Josh what did you get for a meal josh. Josh do you like your job josh. Josh, when are you going to realize that talking like this is annoying to everyone including God…Josh.”
Of course people laughed, I am sure some thought I was rude. But my point is this. Christians can be idiots. I am not surprised we have such a bad reputation. And that’s when I feel the most alone. When I am surrounded by my Christian friends. Heres the thing. We talk to people daily. We dont talk to God the way we talk to our friends. I dont get that.
However, here is where things in my simple mind don’t make sense. I do have this small group of friends. Not sure how to even describe them. But they drink sometimes. They cuss a lot. They are not your typical “Christian.” Yet they claim to be Christians. And they show Christs love more than anyone I meet. In the churches eyes they are to worldly for the church but in the worlds eyes they are to religious for the world. They really don’t have a “place” that they belong. Yet I feel myself when I am with them. I can be me.