Reblogged from Photographymemoirs – Fine Art Landscape Photography
When I was studying Physiotherapy at University, my friend who was agnostic and I were traveling one evening in the lift of the hospital, which accommodated the students’ residence. We were coming back from University after a long day and were both tired, longing for the comfort of our bed. Thomas (not his real name) looked at me and spoke suddenly after a long silence. “Do you know what I hate about Christians?” I looked at him calmly, quite surprised at the nature of the topic. “No Thomas please tell me, what is it that you hate about Christians”. He seemed quite taken back by this response and said, “Well it’s the way they live, they just don’t seem to have any fun; it’s such a boring way to live. Who would ever want to live that way; it seems like such a huge waste.” I paused, reflecting on his comments as he seemed quite sincere and I genuinely liked Thomas; he was interesting, gentle and mature, studying to become an occupational therapist.
I looked him in the eyes. “May I ask you something Thomas?” I asked gently. “Sure” he replied immediately. “If I fed you if you were hungry, offered you something to drink if you were thirsty, clothed you if you were naked, visited you if you were sick, offered you a bed if you were homeless, do you think that these would reflect beautiful acts of love?” Thomas looked at me perplexed “Why of course he replied”. I then let these words sink in before replying “What if even within my mind, heart and soul I would never wish you any harm, covet your partner or your possessions yet yearned for that which is best for you even laying down my life for you, that you may live. Would you agree that these thoughts and actions are both noble and beautiful indeed, especially if you’re the recipient?” Thomas looked at me bewildered. “Why of course that’s a great way to live”. I paused for long moments, looked down at the floor smiling sadly before raising my head and then looked my dear friend in the eyes. “But that is the way of life in Christ, the way that Christians endeavor to live; that is which I aspire to be, despite all my failures and imperfections. How is it possible that you enjoy the fruits of Christianity yet hate its source in Christ?”
Thomas’s face changed somewhat and looked quite troubled unsure about something turning over in his mind. “I …I don’t know” he replied hesitantly. I looked at him lovingly and spoke from the heart. “I can only tell you of what my mind, heart and soul has experienced. Most people partake of the fruits of Christianity but don’t like to acknowledge the source. Why, because they are afraid to change their way of life, not wanting to give something up that is self-serving or feel that Christianity will shackle them with responsibilities and burdens that would suffocate them. On the contrary, my experience is that when one sincerely yearns to live with Christ occupying the throne within ones mind, heart and soul, then, and only then is one truly free from the superficial existence and materialism that has been shackling them all their life. I spoke at length with the innocence of a child tempered with the love for one’s friend. It has been many long years since our conversation and I still wonder what ever happened to my dear friend.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life
John 4:13-14 (NKJV)
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
John 11:25-26 (NKJV)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”