Chelsey Hoffmeister, writer of the post Perseverance, has attended Bethany for roughly six months. Her walk with God has a great tangibility to it, demonstrating itself in daily life whether she is working in the cafeteria or taking notes in class. With passion and sincerity she writes this heavy post.
Going to a familiar coffee shop in Uptown, Minneapolis this week was a much different experience than I was expecting. I was expecting to make a relaxing trip to the cozy shop, with its dim lights, soothing music, and delicious chai tea latte. I was expecting to sit down studiously with my homework questions and put a dent in the week’s work. Well, as ideal as the night I had planned was, that is far from what ended up happening.
Things began catching my attention that never used to – a girl talking nonchalantly about her sex life, a couple of guys having a conversation that somehow went from religious stereotypes to the indecent video games they’re addicted to (all filled with much cursing). I was utterly baffled at the things people were saying, but even more perplexed at the way it began affecting me.
Without even knowing exactly why, or where it was coming from, I just felt all of a sudden like I was going to start crying. Knots formed in my stomach, my heart became heavy, and all I could think was, “God, save these people!” You see, when we choose to follow Christ, it means that we now have to do the things that He did. And in order to help us along, He gives us new eyes and ears, so we see and hear things differently (obviously sometimes more than others!). Things I myself would have once said are now shocking and heartbreaking to hear. I see the blindness that people are walking in, and they don’t even realize that they can’t see. But neither could I – and that’s what makes me hurt for them even more.
What I want to know is how we can just sit in a places that are so full of darkness, brokenness, corruption, and confusion and think that we can just ignore it? How can we stand back, being “good Christians,” reading our Bibles and studying our parables, while people are dying all around us? Even our favorite places, the places that we once thought of as ‘retreats’, are war zones. The devil is defeating them, and there are slowly rotting corpses all around us, only they are still moving and breathing. Some would rather make their way to the grave than to receive resuscitation. But it’s not only that. Not only are there dying people all around us, but we have just been saved, ourselves. We were dying too. We thought the same things as them. We did the same things as them. We clung on to death as if it would somehow save us if we just held on tight enough. But why? Well, when someone has never experienced life, how would they know what they are missing? After all, coffins can be rather comfortable. Opening our eyes for the first time means seeing light for the first time, which hurts our eyes at first. So it’s our job now, since we’ve been saved from death, to help those who are dying. We are the ones who need to gently guide them out of the darkness and into the light – by showing them that it is Jesus who is our saving grace, the only one who restores life and freedom to those who turn to Him.