Yesterday someone overheard another speaking about me and they said, “You know she is an Evangelical.” I was taken back because I would never label myself that. I struggle with all labels at 48. Why do we have to place others under a roof of faith with a label to describe who they are? Can’t I just be a girl who loves Jesus? Do we really think that there will be different neighborhoods in heaven for Methodists, Catholics, Evangelicals? What about Married, Single, Divorced? Smart, Beautiful, Successful, Athletic, Popular? The Rich, the Poor side of the clouds? How about for everyone who got it right and everyone who got it wrong? I knew a Mormon once that believed that her husband would have ALL his wives with him in heaven. I am not even sure where to go with that one, but okay. If I could not live in the same house with a man on earth do you think I could share a cloud with him…. and his new wife?
I just finished the book In Search of God Knows What by Donald Miller, 2nd by my author crush. What a book, loved it but so different than the first one I read. This one was much deeper. I would have to put it down at times and roll around in what I read for a day or two before picking it back up, just like a pig in mud. I wanted it on me, well to become a part of me. He was writing how I feel about God, church, judging, lifeboats and the positions we create in life to make us feel more superior, loved and right. The popular crowd. The loved crowd. The good looking crowd, smart crowd. He challenged us to see that knowing God and pleasing God had little to do with a 3 step plan or a formula, but with a real relationship with the one who made us. Can I get an AMEN? Who says that we are right and they are wrong? Is their really a correct way to pray or does God hear all our desperate whispers, shouts of praise and painful cries we call out to him? Powerful stuff. Might have been why I was so uncomfortable with the label Evangelical. A more appropriate term might be a Messy Christian, not perfect or someone who has all the answers, but who is thankful for God’s grace and redemption, always seeking His face.
This morning Grace rolled out of bed, with sleep in her eyes and morning breath, she came and met me on the familiar “wake up” couch. We started talking about a little girl that she knew. She mentioned that she was popular and that all the boys hung around her. I asked why? She replied, “She is good at sports.” “Well, you are good at sports too!” I said. She responded with, “But I am chubby.” Now if you know Grace you would not call her chubby, but if you saw the movie Super 8 and remember the line, “My doctor says I haven’t hit my lean years yet.”, that could define my 9 year old Grace. Of course I went into my best “Aibileen” mode from The Help and said, “Grace, You are beautiful, smart, athletic and VERY FUNNY. And people like funny.” She smiled as if to say, “You have to say that because you birthed me.” Not True!! But all that I said was true, and as a mother I wanted her to hear the good stuff because we are bombarded with the bad. The self defeating we not enough stuff that labels us as Chubby, Dumb, Poor, Stupid, Ugly, Never quite enough stuff.
I was pondering labels today and don’t believe there are any in Heaven.
I could be wrong, but I think we will be there because of His great love for us and our deep love, so complicated but genuinely returned to Him.
One Big Family. I think the only label I am comfortable with at all is Child of God, it’s the only one that fits. And as far as my heavenly home, I am hoping for a comfy, worn wake up couch to hang on with all His other Chill-ens! May my cloud and heart will always be open.