I Can’t Escape All Of These Christians

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“We’ll keep you in our prayers.”

 “Can I pray with you before you leave?”

“God bless and stay safe.”

“I just wanted to give you this Bible verse to remember. Psalm 3:5-6.”

 “I just had a feeling that you go church too.”

“My faith is the only thing that kept me alive.”

Christians

I had no idea that I believe the only Christians in the world live in Texas. After all, those are the only Christians I’ve ever known, the only people “like me,” so that must be where all of God’s faithful reside.

If there’s one thing we can’t seem to escape on this trip, it’s Christians.

From New Mexico to Montana, God keeps sending them to us. Even at the secular conference we attended last week, we ran into people who invited us to church or who worked at the Concordia University in Portland.

Heath and I didn’t notice this pattern until we were leaving our job in California. Richard, our boss for the day, pulled us aside and asked to pray for us. So we stood there holding hands in a circle in the cleaning supplies closet of a minor league baseball field, and Richard prayed over us.

Then we thought back to everyone else we’ve met along the trip. We hadn’t noticed their subtle comments about praying for us or saying “God bless.” We overlooked references to God or to church because we were accustomed to always being around people who believe the same things as us.

“We are Christians too.”

That’s what Heath said to the last woman we met who shared our faith. He said the words with clear excitement, and I felt bright red blood flush my cheeks. I don’t know why I reacted this way. It gave me that awkward, “Why did you just say that so loudly?” look that wives seem to often make toward their husbands. His simple statement of a fact made me anxious.

The more I mulled over my reaction, I realized something painful.

When was the last time I told someone about my faith? I remembered talking to a friend years ago and telling him I didn’t remember the last time I shared my faith with someone. He told me that was sad because that’s what Jesus was all about. I agreed at the time, but I still can’t remember the last time I was as bold as my husband to speak my faith aloud.

There’s a lot of power in speaking truths aloud. For months I practiced telling everyone “I am a writer,” and changed my Twitter bio to reflect that truth. Soon, I felt like a real writer. I could say those words confidently.

I bet the same goes for my faith.

The more I share my faith, the stronger connection I will feel with my identity as a Christian.

So the next town we visit, Idaho Falls tomorrow, I hope to identify myself with Christ. To say aloud, without blushing, I am a Christian.