My tea cup is empty. Bummer. It’s hard to have a complete thought with an empty cup of tea. You see, I love tea. I love it when it’s warm, I love it when it’s cold. I love it when my cup is not empty, like it is now. I love tea and so I talk about tea, I share about tea, I offer other people tea. On a daily basis, I wake up thinking about a cup a’ tea. I live and breathe tea.
This thing that I love, I talk about it. It helps make my day better and so I share pictures of my cup of tea, sometimes full and me happy, sometimes empty and me sad.
This thing I share about is part of my every day. It’s part of my life and I can not be separated from it. Now, my description of the relationship I have with tea might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I believe it gets the point across, and it’s really not that much of stretch.
If someone I’m talking to isn’t in love with tea like I am, then I try not to go on and on about tea, but it is regularly in my mind, so it comes up. If my friend doesn’t enjoy the taste of tea and doesn’t want to drink it, I try to remember that and not constantly offer it to them (except my husband, I’m constantly trying to convert him to my tea drinking) but it can be hard for me to remember that not everyone loves tea as much as I do.
Now let’s talk about Jesus. The things above are really how I behave and think about tea, not just a prop. I don’t jest about tea. It’s serious business. The British conquered the world on tea. But, Jesus is much the same for me, though I don’t think about hiding my tea drinking like I sometimes think about not admitting to my faith in Jesus because I worry that I am a terrible witness to the love of Jesus and how he has changed me.
You might think I’m a mess now (So what is this Jesus really doing for me?) but you should have seen me before. Well, there really was no before, but there is definitely an after. My family had me baptized as an infant, which is the Catholic tradition, and I was raised in this faith. As an adult, I still choose this faith. Along the way, though, I took detours. I believed in God, in Jesus, but as much as I wanted to love him, there was more fear of hell and loss than obedience out of love.
That changed for me in my early 20’s when I did what many young people do, I fell in love, but with the wrong man. He broke my heart, as his type do, and I found myself at rock bottom. Thankfully, among my bad choices was the wonderful choice to move to a town where I went to work at a Christian book store. These people took me in, then took me to their non-Catholic church which they called a hospital for those wounded in (by) the church. There, at the same time I became active in Lifeteen through the local Catholic Church.
There I encountered a Jesus that I loved as much as (more than) I feared hell. There I learned that I was a mere mortal man, because I had led a beautifully sheltered life until that point where I hadn’t had much of a chance to make mistakes and I thought that I was wise beyond my years and so much smarter than the next person. There I learned that Heaven wasn’t scary (I had feared that Heaven would be boring and wondered what I would do there forever and ever and ever) and had a spiritual experience that led me to feel that I know what Heaven will be like and that I will be ready to go when the time comes (I’m not in a hurry to go there).
All of this is important to me. I was so lost and broken at that point in my life. I’m still a work in progress. I share my heart. I share what has made me a better person than I was. I share what I live and breathe. I share tea, 4 kids in various stages of life (all under 6), I share about my wonderful husband, and I share Jesus. These things have greatly impacted my life and so I continue to share that which I love to those around me.
People who say that my faith is great and all but should be kept private need to understand that, while I respect their choice to not share in my faith, it is part of me, as I live and breathe. I do my best not to push my faith and my Jesus on others, but I can’t help from sharing something that has changed and redeemed me. For my friends who follow Wicca, I can listen to them share their faith and can be happy that they have a faith to turn to, even if it is different from my own. For my friends who turn to saving the world and all the animals in it, I know that we all need a place to turn to and need to feel like we are making a difference beyond ourselves, and I can understand and respect that. My friends are welcome to share to with me their heart and soul and passions, whether I feel the same or not and I am open to listening, because I care. I don’t feel threatened by their differing opinions. I don’t understand why anyone would feel threatened by mine.