as my eyes open
we all have stereotypes. because it is our nature to judge, we may even have different versions of common stereotypes that we see out there. like in Mean Girls, stereotyping can also be based on which clique you join. jocks, black hotties, girls who eat their feelings, the plastics, etc.
recently, i joined a new clique. this is a group of people that many of us may have, at one point or another, made fun of. or have made snarky comments about. i joined the Christian group.
i didn't really know what Christians were like, because of the different personalities i see everyday. it also didn't help that i grew up in a family and community that were predominantly Catholic. i may have known a few friends who were part of the Jehova's Witness, but never a Christian. or maybe i just didn't know they were Christians. hmm.. i have one uncle, i think, who became a Christian. i saw them bless our food one day when they came over with their friends. see, stereotypes.
when i joined the Church, i received a lot of reactions, more on the joking side. bless my mom, her only question was, "Why change now?" but the others, oh my. people would raise their hands at me like they are blessing me. or tell me bad words that i used to enjoy saying. some would ask me questions to challenge my change in faith. that, i really don't understand.
when a person is considered ugly, and then gets a makeover, people applaud. when a sinner decides to change, do we question?
it took me a long time to get here. i have lived 28 years of my life trying to please myself. and surrounding myself with beautiful things. i wouldn't have experienced that if a certain Someone did not die on the cross for me. how easy did i forget about that? as soon as i hit my teenage years, i have forgotten who He was. and now that i'm wanting to know Him again, i'm made fun of. well, what goes around, comes around.
i actually don't see anything funny about the new people i hang out with. if anything, they're fun! they know the Bible, or which parts of Scripture would be appropriate for a certain sitch. true, some of us raise our hands while singing, but it's because we feel the message of the songs. in Church, it's considered funny. but in a Maroon 5 concert, if you cried, it's because you're cool.
apparently, Christians also live among all of us. we have jobs. and it's a constant struggle to work in offices where wrong is seen as right. while most of us think about what is "normally" right, Christians want to do what's right. it's saying no to a police officer asking for "lagay" so you wouldn't have "to go through the hassle of paying your ticket." it's saying no to under the table transactions. we have lived with ways to make our lives easy. but not all easy things are right.
being with these people make me realize how much crooked my world is. or how easy it had been for me. the comfort that i had growing up lead me to do things that i am not proud of today.
on Sundays, i usually spend the whole day sleeping, because of a wild extravaganza the night before. the folks i'm with spend extra hours after service to join small groups, share their experiences and pull you into the life of a Christian, to be saved. make no mistake, there are peeps who have families too, but what's good is that their families are involved in church too. how about that?
i admire the efforts of some of them. if we have to talk about going the extra mile, this is the extra mile. they don't get paid for this. they don't ask for any favors for this. this is selflessness. if all of us spent time thinking about one another instead of just our own selves, we would prosper.
which made me think, if a Christian were to join politics, his/her life would be a constant battle. there are standards in society to be met, but there are grander standards set by God. someday, i would love to see a politician who maintained the Christian life while in the government.
every week, i discover things about the people i "hang out" with. while others are talking about the newest trends, or the latest shocker in pop culture, we talk about our struggles. we pray for each other. we give each other hope, that in every day, we will live a life with God in its center.
this is a new world for me. and it's a world that i didn't appreciate before. temptations are everywhere, left and right. but the choice is mine. and yours, soon, i hope.