Creating God Space in My Little CornerWednesday, March 02, 2016
Creating a Little God Space
Here in Reading List
Last week I shared a reflection that came from Doug Pollock's God Space. I discussed how the book pushes Christians to rethink how they approach evangelism. If you missed it, please stop over and check it out. Today I want to expand on this topic and share how this little blog is going to change slightly.
Let me start with apologizing because this is going to focus quite a bit on my own thoughts, which are often hard to read - especially if you don't know me or care about this little corner of the internet. I am hoping to share one more post a week from now that will challenge you.
Since I completely agree on every level that in order to truly have the privilege of sharing my faith with a not-yet-believer I have to earn the right to share it, in fact, I have to keep on earning that right, the only thing I can do is make relationships with people who are not-yet believers. I have to be deliberate about picking out the people I spend my time with, the places I go, and the events of the world I know about in order to take steps that will lead me into these relationships.
I’ve been doing some serious praying, meditation and pondering on this topic - I worked through God Space initially last summer - and I am just now starting to voice my thoughts in this tiny little corner of the world…
And for me, I cannot allow myself to only read Christian books or listen to Christian music. Do not hear me wrong, there are some awesome books and songs out there from Christians that are not “old-fashioned” or traditional gospel-y types. I am also not jumping all into the ways of the world, lest I fall back into the chains which Christ set me free from. I will have to spend time daily with my Lord and Savior in order to renew my mind.
No, I am simply living my life, in the time and place God put me in, fully aware of those who are still searching for the answers their souls long for.
In the process of seeking out my natural group of not-yet-believers, I started to realize that there are aspects of my life that lent themselves perfectly for starting up authentic dialogs with people on topics that were not obviously religious. I have a real love for words - that is why I love to read so much! Not just words in stories, though, I love words in music just as much. So while I sought the Lord’s direction in opening up my little safe bubble, He kept pointing out secular books and songs that screamed of the artists’ desire to know Him and they had no clue He was what they were searching for. Songs where the artist's own soul was crying out to God in the midst of their hurt, longing, dreaming, or hoping. Stories full of characters searching for something more, something better, something deeper to live for.
As those saved by Jesus, who know the work of God, we can see what others are searching for, even while they refuse to acknowledge they are actually looking for God. We know this because we have been told that God has put a longing for eternity, for Him, in each human heart. (Ecc 3:11)
How is this going to look for me now?Clearly, the books I have been sharing here on Reading List have already started to show this shift in my stance. I have started picking up books that interest me and are not always Christian for two specific reasons.
One, I am reading them now, knowing that no matter the actual point of the story, on some level the author had a wondering question that he or she will try to work out in the story, and most likely won’t be able to answer.
Because God is the answer to what they are searching for.
Two, when I can see the world through the eyes of a not-yet-believer from a song or a book, it can remind me how life was without knowing God. This allows for true compassion for those who might need to think through some wondering questions. Also, once I have thought through some of the wondering questions in books and songs, I feel more prepared when similar questions come up in my actual conversations.
There will be (and have been) times when I can share a book or song with a not-yet-believing friend and bring up the wondering questions to see what they think. I have found most people are more than willing to discuss a current book, author, song or artist because it removes a level of the personal. Then I can see if the ground is ready for a new seed, or just leave the question in the air until the Spirit moves.
Other times, my friends will bring up a wondering question on their own, and having walked through the question in fiction or music, I feel more confident in walking the path of wondering with them. . It’s a wonderfully smooth path to that back door.
Either way, I am making the decision to continue to live in this world, to remember what the broken world can feel like when there is no real Comforter to lean on, and to diligently seek out a chance to leave seeds for the Spirit to nurture. Because deep down every single person is longing to return to the God that created them, that loves them, that has chosen them. And I simply would like to be a small stone that is part of their path.
What are you searching for in life? Do you wonder about the big questions? #CreatingGodSpace @Reading_List1
When was the last time you saw the longing of a not-yet-believer in their words, wishes, and hopes? Do you listen to songs written by not-yet-believers? Do you read books by those who claim there is no god? Do your friends and family?
***Sharing this with some wonderful blogs: