I was raised to respect myself and others. That meant holding on tight to my beliefs but not pushing onto others. Don’t discuss religion or politics in polite conversation. I didn’t want to be one of those Christians that holds up signs and wears “Jesus is my homeboy” shirts or signed yearbooks with Bible verses. Those seemed to cheapen religion. Advertising religion made it a product. Instead, it was something less tangible, more precious, like romance or family. It was something cherished in private.
And so I didn’t display my religion. Besides my blog and my bookshelf, my theology was not on display. I wasn’t praying in front of flagpoles or wearing WWJD bracelets (ok, not much). Even when I was joining the Catholic Church, I was not vocal about it. I didn’t want to be one of those zealous converts that can speak of nothing else. I didn’t want to burn out or burn those around me. I wanted my faith to be a slow ember, not a sparkler. It seemed like the reasonable, respectable approach. Reverent, sustainable.
I treated my faith like a china doll. I put it on a shelf, like a prized possession. Behind glass, where it couldn’t get chipped or dusty. A seat of honor. Yet, the purpose of a doll is to be played with. A doll is meant to be used and loved and carried about. A doll behind glass denies the purpose of a doll. A religion unused denies the purpose of faith. I must get it out and play with it. I must let it get dirty and worn.