A reflection by Danny Schweers, 18 September 2022.
At one point in my adult life — I was 28 years old — the Spirit said, “Rejoice with me!” I do not want to say that I heard those actual words or that I heard words at all but that was the meaning. I was called.
You might say it was simply a realization that I no longer wanted to continue going in the direction I was going. It was a waking up of sorts, a coming to my senses, as if I asked myself, “What are you doing?”. It was a call to find my way back.
I do not say I knew who was calling me, but I do say that I was called, called to rejoice in what is good, to leave behind the jaded, world-weary life I was living. I turned back toward life, the warmth I remembered. I went looking for the good and found God.
Those were special days, years really, searching for the good and eventually testing the validity of Christianity. That testing was a hopeful skepticism, a joyful yet exact evaluation of Christianity’s claims against what I knew to be true.
I knew this — that every crackpot ideology has beautiful followers, charismatic people who you immediately want to emulate because they shine with life. What I liked about Christianity is that it made a difference in people who were not glamorous, people who were not obviously exceptional but who were good hearted or tried to be.
Do you follow me? I feel like I am making an important point but fear I am not stating it well. Let me try again.
In judging Christianity by its followers, I knew not to judge it by its most dazzling adherents. Instead, I got to know a wide range of Christians and found that they, like me, were seeking the good. Unlike me, they claimed a faith. I wanted to be one of these people. They were decent, kind, generous, warm-hearted, hopeful, and humorous. They looked after one another and cared for strangers. So I explored Christianity, not just the Bible but how it was put into practice. I learned to pray and found prayers answered. I found that God was trying to win me over. I found that a strenuous effort was not necessary in the search. What was necessary was for me to open my heart.
I am still learning how to do that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danny N. Schweers chairs SsAM’s Communication Committee. He is an active photographer and writer. Click here to visit his website.