I once heard, in all earnestness, a sermon on how we are to walk, talk, look, and smell like Christians. What? Yep. Apparently there is a Christian dress code, a Christian dialect, a Christian gait, a Christian style, and yes, a Christian perfume/cologne. I have no doubt that all are available, in bulk if you prefer, at your local Bible Book Store.
Unfortunately, I don’t do a lot of shopping there. The most recent Bible I own was purchased at Barnes & Noble. The kids’ came from Borders. I strongly suspect that I have a stolen-from-the-hotel-room Bible on my shelf. In fact, the last time I set foot in a Bible Book Store was because I couldn’t find the book “Heirs Together” in the secular book stores. All that to say I don’t know what aisle you can find all this on, but I’m pretty sure it’s there.
So what does a Christian walk, talk, look, and smell like? I don’t know. I honestly cannot answer that question. I’ve been told I’m a weird Christian and asked if I really am one because I don’t look like it or sound like it. This is true.
Sometimes my hair is a found-in-nature hue; other times it’s blue, or purple, or pink. I don’t, and won’t, sport a bleached-blond bob or a hyepr-perm. I wear really high heels and have the sashay to go with it. I’ll just as easily wear shorts and a tanktop as a skirt and dress shirt. You will never catch me in a pencil skirted dress with shoulder pads and lace collar.
There are days—quite a few—that I sound more like a drunken sailor on an unexpected 24-hour-leave. More often than not you’ll hear me pause mid-sentence looking for a more Sunday School-appropriate word than the one I really wanted to use. What do we smell like? Can’t answer that one, either, because even though I’m trying to quit, I smell like a freshly burned cigarette.
Please don’t misunderstand—I don’t hide my faith. It’s open and out there all the time. I’ll share it with you if you like, but before we start, I might grab a beer (you want one?). I am a real person. I make mistakes. In fact, I sin. Badly. That doesn’t make me a hypocrite; it makes me real. As Christians we are to strive for perfection knowing that we will never achieve it; acknowledging our sinful station doesn’t mean we’ve set up camp there.
There have been churches that shunned me because of all that. Why? That’s a good question. Again, I don’t know the answer. Maybe it’s because I don’t fit into the neatly-outlined stereotype of “Christian Woman.” Perhaps it’s because who (and how) I am threatens their delicately balanced mask.
This is what I do know: If we are going to reach the hurting, we must allow our own hurts to show. If we are going to bring in the imperfect, we cannot strategically cover our imperfections.
I promise you there are more Christians out there like me. We are the majority. Why, then, do we only hear about jackwagons with protest signs? Because we don’t carry megaphones, that’s why. We’re standing right beside you, probably yelling at our kids, too. Come to my church and I’ll wave at you from the corner of the parking lot where I’m enjoying my cigarette. It’s the same smile and wink you might see behind my microphone while I’m leading music.
Do you show the world the real you?
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Kelly Heuer resides in Idaho and asserts that she is foremost a wife to her best friend and hero. Five children (plus a few extras) call her Mami, and she considers being a wife and mother to be her most important job and ministry. She is her church’s Music/AV Coordinator and serves as a song leader among other roles as needed. A missionary kid, Kelly lived in the Dominican Republic for 14 years learning to read and translate legal documents in both Spanish and English. She says one of the most important revelations of her time there was learning the value of writing in alleviating the pain of both internal and external struggles. She says while others might describe her as a survivor, she calls herself a fighter, a thriver, a winner. Kelly’s heart is to help women worldwide to go beyond survival and be freed to never again fear enslavement.
Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)