Why Faint-Hearted?

Sometimes you meet someone and, even though they vehemently deny having a faith, you come away thinking, “They’d make a good Christian.”

Well – somewhere, I’m sure, a committed non-believer has walked away from meeting me thinking, “She’d make a great agnostic.”

The problem is, to the depths of my soul, I believe.

I was raised by a lovely liberal Anglican (the daughter of Unitarians) and a fiercely intelligent atheist. (I thank my father for my tendency to “always ask questions”.)

I was infantly baptised into a church that, depending on the vicar, didn’t always believe in the resurrection.

The only Christian book of any description in my life was the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Unless you count the giant old bible on the brass eagle.

I was 16 before I realised that an “Epistle” was a letter that started Dear Friends and ended Love, Paul – like they were real people!

I have never said the sinner’s prayer and was repulsed when I encountered the 4 spiritual laws. But that was probably the messenger rather than the message, come to think of it.

And yet….

I can remember at the age of maybe 4 or 5 loving the idea that “The sea is his and he made it, and his hands prepared the dry land.”

At the age of 10 I had a profound experience, all by myself in my bedroom – a conversation with God about Jesus being a light to guide my way. All by myself.

As a young teen, when bitchiness about “others” was the first law of the school jungle, I could hear a small voice telling me about the struggles of those “others”.  That was a BIG burden but I knew it was God.

At 15, I got laughed out of my youth group for asking if we could maybe talk about God.  I didn’t even know what I wanted to talk about.

And it goes on.  God has held me to himself in the darkest of places and I have no doubt that he would have done so whether or not I had ever wandered into evangelicalism. In fact, I was in my late 40s before I discovered that I was supposedly a “Conservative Evangelical”. Yikes. That was a shocker.

Faint-hearted? Am I really a fraidy-cat Christian?  No and yes.

I’m more confident than ever that I’m heading towards Heaven.

But I’m less confident than ever that I (or any of us) have all the answers to the questions about getting there. Confident Christians with their “just read the bible” solutions to negotiating this life make me very uncomfortable.

So – faint-hearted?  Yes – with a steely conviction that it’s ok to be so.





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