“We can’t have Christians serving in the leadership of this committee”: the man chairing the meeting proclaimed with a stern face.”We need to know where you all stand as far as this matter is concerned, so we can speak the same language. I can’t stress how important this is”.
I rose my hand and declared my faith. “I am a Christian and therefore I will not not be able to serve on this committee. I respect your stance but I will not be able to compromise who I am in order to serve here”
They all fell silent and something hard enveloped the room. No, it was not a religious organization, it was a project that we all felt passionate about and wanted to serve in, but we were not all aware that a religious or certain spiritual affiliation and perspective was one of the core principles. At least it was not written anywhere, hence the controversy and contention that cemented the faces of some of the delegates.
No one else declared what they believed or at least they became vague stating that they don’t believe in any religion or asking that the matter be subjected to a debate. After all, was it not a common goal that had brought us together in the first place? And now religion would be the sword that tears us apart. A distraction.
I saw pity and concern for me on some of their faces. Someone murmured how we need to understand how much organized religions have hurt and damaged people and their souls. Yet I also felt pity for my fellow colleagues that even in their contempt for Christianity in particular, they could not find common ground amongst themselves in terms of what their own spiritual practice entails. It was an interesting moment. The words “you are all fearfully and wonderfully made” kept echoing in my spirit.And I later reflected to myself how Christ is able to unify people of all nations, colours and creeds.
No matter what station or project we find ourselves “building” in, we can’t forget that we are all God’s creation, created for good works, to serve, to love one another and to die to our own selfish ambitions.
I have no doubt that this matter will remain a burning issue that will keep other awake at night and be a dinner or lunch reflection with friends. May God grant us all wisdom as we realize that at a small level, we played out and reflected why the world is burning instead of being built.