I do not think it is a secret what I believe. I wear my heart on my sleeve and post some of my soul and innermost thoughts on the internet. I talk about Jesus like people talk about football, have bible verses plastered about my room, and get really pumped at the mention of Hillsong. No, these things do not mean I am great at what I try to do, but it should not be a major plot twist when you figure out I am in love with Jesus.
One of my friends, Elliot, truly has a personality that is one of a kind. He is direct, blunt and honest; which as a type A gal, I truly value. There’s no fluff to it: he tells me exactly what he thinks and calls me on my (occasional) BS.
Elliot is an avid reader of my blog (thank you), an extremely passionate and intelligent individual, and a self-proclaimed atheist. As I was sitting outside Starbucks this past week (cue all the classic girl jokes), Elliot sat down, asked how I was, and said that he wanted to talk to me about Jesus. He did not understand a couple things I had written—validly so, it can get a wee-bit tangled and jumbled—and wanted some answers.
He said he was asking because he didn’t think he would be an atheist his entire life. Hey, Elliot. I don’t know exactly what that means and I, per usual, acted totally calm and cool the entire conversation, but it took every muscle in me forcing myself to remain sitting down so I wouldn’t get up and do a cartwheel followed by jumping up and down in celebration. (You still think I’m cool, right?)
When I’m having conversations with friends about Jesus, a classic line I get a lot is, “Erica, that is so great for you and I’m happy for you, but the whole religion thing really isn’t for me.”
You see, here’s the thing: I’m a fairly accepting person. You don’t like sushi? I personally love it, but I understand that it is not for everyone. You have 36 body piercings? It’s not for me, but if it is you, more power to the cause. There is one thing that I refuse to accept nor believe, though, and that is that Jesus is not “your thing.”
He is everyone’s thing. I don’t believe that; I know that. I know that and feel that with every ounce of my being: I would bet my entire life and existence on it. I will never force my beliefs nor values on anyone; I love debates and enjoy a healthy banter, but I firmly believe that each of us were created by the God of the Universe. So yeah, guess what? Jesus, the Creator of the Universe’s son, is for you. He is your thing because you were created by Him—hand-freaking-crafted—and for Him and to be with Him.
Elliot, I love you today, as I will tomorrow, as I will 50 years from now, and nothing is going to change that. You’re a great friend and your comments keep me young and on my toes. However, I will never live a day without fully believing that Jesus is for you. I don’t care if you’re 10 states over farming your heart out, listening to Rihanna, and Jesus is not even a thought that running through your mind. I will be praying for you and waiting for you to return your heart to the one that created you.
Zach, Soph, Em, Court, Tay, Alex, Anna, and everyone else: This goes for you, too. I am praying for you, waiting for you, and praying more. You are never too far lost nor too far gone to run into the arms of your savior, THE one and only true savior. Always follow your heart, but always know who gave you your heart (and your mind, and your body, and all of your weird/fabulous quirks). I have the utmost respect for you guys and I love you all so much.
*Disclaimer: I cannot compare nor categorize Jesus and sushi and body piercings together. The person who saved me, and continues to save me, is much bigger, greater, more powerful and more wonderful than sushi and body piercings. They are not even on the same level.