I believe in Jesus BUT…

 

What if I told you I believe in Jesus

BUT

I don’t believe

in the laying on of hands

for raising up the dead

or miracles

of any sort

 

Would you think me

a woman of faith?

 

What if I told you I believe in Jesus

BUT 

I don’t believe praying will

heal breast cancer

a broken arm

or a brain tumor

 

Would you think me

a woman of faith?

 

What if I told you I believe in Jesus

BUT

I don’t believe

the barren womb

of an old woman

can bring forth a child

 

Would you think me

a woman of faith?

 

What if I told you I believe in Jesus

BUT

I don’t believe in forgiveness

for those who torture to death children

through abuse

or neglect

or sheer selfishness

 

Would you think me a

woman of faith?

 

What if I told you I believe in Jesus

BUT

I don’t believe that it is our job

to care for the poor

They need to get a job

get a life

get off welfare

quit bilking the system

 

Would you think me

a woman of faith?

 

What if I told you I believe in Jesus

BUT

I don’t believe in living peaceably

with all men

especially not those who

hurt my feelings

who step on my toes

who act ugly

when they don’t get their way

or worse yet,

those who exploit me

for their own selfish gain

who pretend to be a friend

in order to gain more followers

or a blurb for their book

or advice on writing

and publishing

Who never even realize that I know how disingenuous,

how very fake they are being

 

Would you think me

a woman of faith?

 

What if I told you I believe in Jesus

BUT 

I don’t believe he hears the prayers

of foster children

of disabled soldiers

of the heartbroken

and suicidal

 

Would you think me

a woman of faith?

 

What if I told you I believe in Jesus

BUT 

not the resurrection

for the hard-headed

for the fool-hardy

for the loud-mouth

for the unfaithful

for the cheat

for the surly

for the lazy

for the whiney

for the self-obsessed

 

Would you think me

a woman of faith?

 

What if I told you that I believe in Jesus

insomuch that it doesn’t require of me anything

BUT

when believing in Jesus

means living as a person

wrecked by the

wild passion and love

of Christ,

that which Chad Norris speaks about in his book 

Signs, Wonders, and a Baptist preacher

Until such a time as that,

am I simply a poser?

 

Can anyone really consider me

a woman of faith

when I most often live in  a place

of skepticism

of doubt

of dismay

of disappointments

of disbelief?

 

 

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • Steve T

    I would believe you are a woman of faith who struggles with what it means to believe and live and suffer and cry and hurt and grieve and laugh and hope and wonder and ponder today and then tomorrow when there is still doubt and dismay and disappointment you still yearn for those small glimpses of the near impossible, the most improbable, the almost unimaginable points of love and beauty and joy that simply cannot be contained inside our own limited imaginations but always seem to lie beyond ourselves. And when we look to Jesus and the unbelievable levels of virtue, compassion, and extravagant love of his life, we know we have no other way to lie claim to that which is beyond our explanation but him. It seems like faith to me. And it seems like something else so many refuse to embrace because it takes such courage to do — honesty.

    • http://twitter.com/karenzach Karen Zacharias

      Small glimpses of the near impossible. Yep. That’s where I live.

  • Larry_Shallenberger

    Absolutely. I was struck his week that Mark’s Gospel ends one a wrecked note (ch. 16:8) and the “coda” was added much later. The book properly ends with Jesus risen and every follower faithless. I think that means something. More one that on my blog, no link since this isn’t about me.

  • Sherwood

    Well, Karen, I am 83+ years of age and have known of the “Jesus” of whom you speak for virtually all of my life. I knew of him by way of people who claimed that they knew him, but now – looking back from the perspective of the years in my chronological life, I doubt that they knew Him.

    There is a real difference. I was almost 45 years of age and – in pain, for a number of reasons, most of which I was unawares at the time, and in route to see a counselor in hopes he could help me get out of moods in which i found myself. That person was a Christian – a real Christian I would learn later, but in a moment, I heard the “real” Jesus speak – through a Bible verse, Matthew 4:17, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. I was confused. I could not recall ever hearing that before in all of those years, spent in church. So, in prayer I asked, “What does that mean?’

    To my amazement, I began to recall experiences in earlier years, of the problems between my mother and my grandfather over the cost of my care. (My father had died and I was sent to live with my mother’s family. It was the “Depression” years

    and my mother also had my younger sister to raise) But – apparently, those incidents caused me to question the love they had for me and the division between my mother and I continued for all of her 91+ years. And now, it dawned on me, I had reason to repent, to acknowledge my complicity and change my thought patterns. It was not just that incident. There were many others with many other people. I asked God to forgive me and it has become obvious to me over the ensuing years, He has.

    And so I came to know the real Jesus through the Bible, through His actions in dealing with others, and with the actions of those who did not accept Him. I chose to walk with Him, rely on His wisdom, His love, and in the process, I began to care for others, to actually love them in spite of what they might be saying, or doing, or anything that differed from the patterns of life that Jesus had demonstrated. And my life took a fantastic change. Fear had disappeared. Debating others was no longer my mission in life. I began to earnestly listen and learn. It taught me the power of discernment, freeing me from the tenancy to judge others. It made my life worth living. I was free to literally give myself away to others. What a relief. What fantastic freedom I now had to be – me. Hey, I also made mistakes, but guilt no longer threatened my life. “I did that, can you forgive me?” Amazing change came over me. I learned to laugh. I also began to shed tears in situations where it was obvious, that those involved had never experienced the joy that was mine.

    And Karen, I also learned there are “bad” people in this world, some not as bad as others, but able to hurt even the innocents and not accept responsibility for their actions. Insofar as they had not invaded my life, my only requirement was to pray for them – that they might realize the peace that was in my life, but always – to leave the condemnation up to those who might be directly involved. And the fact has always been there, whether or not it was obvious, for every bad person, there are a hundred in need of just one expression of love, so that they might carry on. And they are everywhere, starting on the streets where we live, where we travel, where we might be employed, everywhere! Once you grasp the importance of loving others, the fear of having to dealing with others disappears.

    Thirty seven years of walking daily, hour by hour, wherever, whenever, has filled me from the top of my head to the tip of my toes, 24/7.

    There is more, but the question is – will you lay away your concerns and join the throngs of those whose life has been lost – in Him, the real Jesus.

    • lageorgia

      I pray to be like you, you are a wonderful mentor and those in your life are blessed.

  • Sharon O

    I think God understands all of what you said, we are not here to believe it all, we are here to worship the one who created us in his image.
    I have read your blog for almost a year now maybe longer and I think you believe on many levels. Everyone’s faith is different. That is the uniqueness of each person.
    God knows your heart.

    • archaeologist

      You provide the evidence for why Paul said a woman cannot teach men and need to be silent in the church.

      • Sharon O

        Until you know someone and can actually speak to them in a decent tone, perhaps you are the one who should be silent.

  • archaeologist

    No I would not consider you a woman of faith nor a believer in Jesus.

  • Steve T

    Archaeologist … an interesting self-proclamation I think … I wonder what is in your heart. Really. I mean no malice but I truly remain confused by people who seem to me to seek to carry the belief that they can name Jesus; yet so often seem to not be able to bear presence to the compassion of Christ, the Christ who always centers himself inside the suffering and struggle of the other. Yet I think you will easily dismiss my pondering just as easily as you dismissed Karen’s offering, never peering through the words, not seeking to know or to be known. Because that is the way it is when one is certain. But brother … and yes, I assume you are a brother, certainty is oft times the antithesis of faith. Holding you in prayer and wishing God’s deep Shalom for you.


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