Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Revisiting the Two-Way Grille

I have realized something.

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 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.

Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for 'It's Worth Revisiting Wednesday..


  1. Nancy,in answer to your "sometimes you just pour down too much light at once through your servants O Lord" questions: Yes I DO feel awkward and embarrassed at times, especially when I am in the midst of people who look down upon Christianity (and this includes members of my extended family). I think it hurts most when we are mocked by those who are supposed to love us the most. Because I am still prideful, I feel "the pinch" of their disapproval at times. I would rather NOT feel this pinch at all but I am just not at that point yet, unfortunately. This was an excellent post! Thank you!

    1. Mary, I could have written your exact words. I feel the pinch too, and it hurts.

      Thank you so much! I pray we will be given grace for the pinching.


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