Already feeling low from struggling with a decision she was finding hard to make, she was not prepared for her dad’s attack.
“Christians are all ignorant fools,” he told her. “Too stupid to use their own minds, they just follow whatever the church says. Blind faith. Stupid faith.”
“It’s not like that,” she tried to explain. But he wouldn’t listen.
“You’re no better than them. You have been brainwashed into believing God can actually love you. That He’s actually interested in your life. He is God! Creator of the universe! He doesn’t care about each tiny individual. He made the world and now it’s up to us.”
“But that’s not what Jesus said…”
“Jesus!” he interrupted her. “He may have been a good man, but he was not God. He didn’t know any more than anyone else. People just made him into something he wasn’t because they needed something to hold on to when life got tough. Jesus is nothing more than a crutch.”
“He’s more than that, dad. He is God and He is with us. I know! I met Him!”
“If you believe that, you’re no better than any of those other delusional people. If you were smart, you’d drop this fantasy and look at life as it really is.”
“What about the Bible? The Bible says that Jesus is God and..” She was cut off again.
“It was written by ignorant people trying to explain a world they didn’t understand. We know better now. Science has proven most of the bible inaccurate. It’s just a book of fairy tales…”
And on and on he went, his voice rising as his anger against Christianity grew. Eventually, he got tired of ranting and left the room. She sat there, feeling as sore and bruised as if he had actually beat her. She slowly got up and got ready for bed. She started to pray but stopped. How could she? She didn’t deserve to be with Jesus. She had not been able to defend Him, to speak up for Him, to make her dad understand. She had let Jesus down. She felt like she couldn’t have Jesus anymore – not because He didn’t want her, but because they just couldn’t be together anymore. And she wanted Him. Not just because she needed Him and without Him, she wouldn’t have life, but because she loved Him. And so she wept.
The next day was spent in misery. She felt like God was on her side concerning her belief VS her dad’s belief, but that didn’t help much. She still felt like she had let Jesus down.
That night, before entering the church hall for the weekly prayer meeting she attended, she decided to take a walk down the church yard. It was dark, and the ground was covered with brown leaves from the many trees in the yard. As she walked with her eyes down, she began talking to God, telling Him how she felt. She really didn’t feel like attending the meeting. She was in no mood to go in there and greet everyone with hugs and smiles and pretend everything was OK. So she asked God what she needed to do.
“Rejoice, and praise Me in song and with your words.”
She sighed. “OK. Fine. But it won’t be emotional.” Then she added, “Please keep me from being a wet blanket on everyone else.”
As she walked, she pictured Jesus walking next to her. As often was the case, her image seemed to take on a life of its own, and she saw Jesus act like He was feeling as down as she was and kick at the leaves.
This made her smile. Jesus feeling down? And kicking at the leaves? She looked up at Him as she joined Him in kicking leaves, and she saw that He was smiling.
“Jesus, You are amazing! You always know just the right thing to do for me!”
And she went into the hall to greet everyone with hugs and smiles and act like everything was OK. Because it was.