This post was prompted by two conversations I had today. One with my eldest, 18yo, son and then our 12yo son’s PE teacher.
18yo son and I were talking about a convo he had with our church’s youth group about being a martyr. How many of us really know what we would do if we were faced with real persecution and/or martyrdom? Probably none of honestly know what we’d really do. I am sure as christians we have a scenario in our head of how it would all go down. However, humbly, we just won’t know until we get there. Which I pray we never arrive at that terrible juncture.
Could I still defend my faith, my belief in my savior Jesus while seeing any one of my kids tortured or faced with the threat of death? My 18yo and talked about the horrible reality of what christians before us and even today in other parts of the world go through for their faith in a very graphic, grown up format, one not suited for this blog. We left the sobering conversation with the choices we make today, the little ones, prepare us for bigger ones. The ability to make huge stands starts with taking small ones, at school, at work, with friends, family, neighbors and sometimes even church people. The little ones won’t seem so big once you do it a few times. Then the bigger ones won’t look so big.
As an American, I take for granted my religious freedom and it has made me weak and not sure footed when pressed to defend my convictions. That saddens and frightens me. I know that many martyred christians were given a tremendous amount of courage, faith, peace and grace at their time of martyrdom. I believe He still does and will continue to do so.
I also know that while I have time and the freedoms, I need to make the stands here, no matter how small they are, no matter how big they may feel. 12yo son is taking dance in P.E. right now and asked if he could be excused. No problem. We don’t really think it’s appropriate for middle schoolers to dance with each other anyway. So I wrote him an excuse note. Then I got a call. The P.E. teacher wanted to know why we wanted him excused. I didn’t pull the religion card, though I could’ve. Admittedly, while I knew exactly why we excused him, defending our stance was tougher than I thought. The words for my case didn’t just flow out with confidence as I would’ve liked. Though the teacher was understanding and I got my wish, it really brought to mind the convo 18yo and I had just hours earlier. It really wasn’t a big deal to say no he couldn’t dance and that the school had to provide an alternative (which they had none, but came up with one) in light of what others go through. Yet, I feel a bit stronger, a bit more prepared to defend my faith and my convictions the next time around.
The way things are going in the school system, (and America) I think I may need to gear up for more such stands, while it’s easy. Before it gets real.