He’s worth it. // to the girl who sat behind me //

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance; the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

// C.S. Lewis / Mere Christianity //

~

“Hey, Emily.” A light tap on my shoulder.

I turned around expectantly; it wasn’t unusual that the girl behind me in the contemporary issues class was talking to me. We had had a class together before, and were on pleasant terms with each other, even though we didn’t have that much in common. This was the girl who had once called me a “good girl” (yes, it was as condescending as the italics make it look) because I don’t smoke or drink and have never had a boyfriend (and am perfectly content where I am on all those issues). No, she wasn’t trying to be condescending; looking back, I think she simply didn’t understand why I live the way I do. But she was nice to me, and had good intentions, and overall I liked her.

I was expecting this question to be about homework, or roughly related to whatever it was the Coach was discussing that day, and was a bit caught off guard when it turned out to be, “If someone with a gun came in this classroom right now and asked if you believed in God– like, he was going to kill you if you did– would you say yes?”

I blinked, processing the seemingly random question, then smiled and replied with a certainty that surprised even me, “Yes, I would.”

That confident response wouldn’t have come from the younger me. She would’ve hesitated, maybe tried to dodge the question, or if she was feeling particularly truthful, say, “I don’t know. It depends.”

But the older me, the saved-by-grace and eternally-changed me– she knows. She knows that, no matter the circumstances, no matter how afraid she might be, when it comes down to the point of that split-second decision, she could never live with herself if she denied her Jesus.

The girl sort of nodded and half-smirked. “Yeah, that’s what I expected you to say. You’re a good Christian girl.”

And there was that “good girl” thing again. I hummed, mentally biting back my “it’s not about me being good” thoughts, then returned the question: “Well, what about you? What would you say?”

The girl shrugged, an indifferent expression on her face. “I’d say no! I mean, sure, I believe there’s a God. But He’s not worth dying for or anything.”

He’s not worth dying for.

The response shouldn’t have stunned me, but it did.

And I wish, oh how I wish, that we hadn’t been in the middle of class when all this happened. Because if I had been able to talk to her uninterrupted (how dare they try to teach us things at school xD), I would’ve been able to share my heart with her, share the Gospel.

As it was, I got to hear some of her beliefs, and share a couple of my own– but not enough, not nearly enough. Or at least, that’s how I felt.

Because oh, dear girl– He’s so worth dying for. And living for. And knowing personally. And loving. And praising. How I wish you could see that, because knowing God changes everything, and it’s the best decision you could ever make.

And I get that you didn’t grow up in the Bible Belt like I did. I get that you didn’t go to church often. I get that, compared to others, you’re a relatively good person. I get that you don’t believe in a heaven that could be better than this world. I get that you don’t really care all that much about any of it.

I get it. Really, I do.

But see, knowing God, being a Christian– that has nothing to do with where you grow up, nothing to do with how often you step inside the church, nothing to do with your being a good person.

It does, however, have a lot to do with caring.

Because, see, none of us can afford to simply not care one way or the other on matters of eternity. It’s so easy, especially growing up in the Bible Belt (ask me how I know), to be a churchgoer but not a Christ-follower. And honestly? Complacency like that, that’s one of the most dangerous positions to be in.

Christ Himself once said, “If you deny me in front of men, I will deny you in front of my Father.” That verse kept running on replay in my mind as you and I talked that day. Can you even imagine– dying (much later, because you said “no” that one day and escaped the gunman) and meeting Jesus face-to-face and finally realizing just how important Christianity really was, only for Him to turn away from you and say, “I never knew you”? Can you comprehend the heavy burden, the chilling loss of that scenario?

One of the things each of us longs for most is to be known. To be seen as we are and loved all the same. And God offers that gift of grace and unconditional love to us every single day– if we choose to accept it, if we choose to follow Him. He knows you, dear heart, even though you don’t know Him. He sees the brokenness you don’t share with anyone, He knows your hurts and your sins and the darkest parts of you and girl, He loves you. And He will love you even though you would deny Him, even though you claim to not care.

But what He will not do is go back on His Word. And this is what His Word says about lukewarm believers– those who don’t take a stand one way or the other:

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

// Revelation 3:15-16, KJV //

What this means is that not making a decision about God is still making a decision in the end. If Christianity is real, if God is real, if Christ really died to save us and rose again– then this is infinitely important. This is eternity we’re talking about here. You can’t just cast it aside; eventually, like it or not, you will have to come face-to-face with it. And more than anything, I pray that when you do, you’ll be welcomed home by Jesus with a smile and a, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” But this can only happen if you choose Him.

And I get that it can be hard to hope in heaven; how can we believe in the unseen? But surely you’ve felt it, that longing for a home and a belonging that you haven’t quite found yet, that quiet ache in your soul that says there has to be something more than this. That longing in your heart, that’s seeking heaven, seeking God. Please, please don’t tune out that longing. Because if I’m being honest here, I can’t understand how you can get through life without the hope of something more than this broken world we live in. If I didn’t have hope in heaven, faith in Christ, I would be such a wreck. I can’t even fathom it, and I don’t want to. But hope in heaven is something like this:

“The sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret. And surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, in the sense described, becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgment, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.”
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory 

All you have to do is knock, dear girl, and the door will be opened to you. And I’m praying that someone else will come along and plant the seeds in your heart for you to see the importance of approaching the door. I’m praying that, someday, you’ll make a choice– and that it will be Jesus. Salvation. Joy. Peace. Hope.

And I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I probably didn’t do a good job of representing my Savior to you. I’m sorry for all the missed opportunities. But someday… someday, I pray, we’ll be able to celebrate because we’ll be in heaven together, for all of a beautiful eternity.

Every hesitation or doubt you have– don’t let that keep you from looking into Christianity yourself. Don’t let complacency keep you from making a choice.

Do you want to know why I said yes, I would die before denying Christ?

He did the same for us. For you. He died for your sins because He loves you that much– even while you act like you don’t care about Him, He loves you and He knows you and He wants you to come home. He wants you to follow Him.

I promise you, it’s worth it.

He’s worth it.

{love always, Em}

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2 thoughts on “He’s worth it. // to the girl who sat behind me //

  1. This is beautiful ❤ Thank you for always reminding us that it's never right to remain silent about our faith – and to proclaim our joy and hope to those that we come in contact with!

    Like

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