Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Grille Works Both Ways

I realized something today.

The grille works both ways.

When we speak of seeing and responding to every person and every situation through the "grillwork of the will of God," we're not talking about hiding behind a one-way mirror. Ours is usually hidden "grillwork," yes, and we can love God with all our hearts without calling a lot of attention to that fact.

But the grille works both ways. Not only do we see others through it; they can see us "through it" as well. Oh, they don't see our faces criss-crossed, and we generally look just like everyone else TO everyone else.  But if we're interacting with the world "through the will of God," sooner or later our point of view is going to show.

My realization occurred when I saw (again) the symbol now being used by some as a sign of solidarity with persecuted Christians. I considered what it would take to boldly proclaim "I am a follower of Jesus Christ" when facing an executioner.  I will not deny Him, I cannot follow other gods, I live for Jesus, I am firmly and forever Christian... could I make such proclamations? I like to think so.

But wait. Do I, in my comfortable everyday life, ever downplay or hide the fact that I'm Christian? Do I sometimes, with some people, feel embarrassed about my love of God / stance on life issues / stance on moral issues? Do I fear ridicule, teasing, arguments, being called a holy roller or a holier-than-thou?  Am I ever hesitant to wear a cross, or to hang a crucifix on the wall of my home? Am I concerned that others will think I'm not politically correct?

A woman entering a fully cloistered monastery gets past these issues. She has to. She will interact with family and friends through the grille for the rest of her life, and she'll always be recognized (instantly) as a follower of Jesus. Those meeting her will not forget that she's a Christian; they'll be reminded every time they see her through the bars. She has decided to live for God and to allow others to see her doing so.

When I stand up for Scripture and authentic Church teaching, I'm allowing myself to be seen as a dedicated follower of Christ. I am standing in genuine solidarity with my Christian brothers and sisters throughout the world. I am saying, in effect, that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and I'm willing to let the whole wide world know that. I choose to live inside the grillwork of the will of God.

The grille works both ways.  

Photo: Klausurgitter der Visitandinnen, in US public domain due to age. Digitally altered for color.


  1. Nancy I know the symbol you are writing about, the Arabic letter for N which stands for Nazarene. I just learned today what is behind that symbol I've been seeing as changes in profile pictures on social media. Hitler made the Jews wear a yellow star, another group is identifying Christians with their symbolic letter. It does take courage to say YES, I'M CHRISTAIN. as you loose your anonymity, we can no longer hide. YES, WITH LOVE FOR GOD, I'M CHRISTAIN.

    1. Thank you, Sherrybella. And to your "yes, with love for God, I'm Christian," I say AMEN.


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