When I was in college a friend of mine would always talk about his love for non-Christians, and how he just wanted to make sure they had a seat at the heavenly table.
I remember thinking, “That’s a nice, cheesy, Christian thing to say.” 😂 I understood what he meant, but I didn’t REALLY understand the weight of what he was saying.
When COVID hit I started watching The Chosen series (10/10 recommend, go check it out on the Chosen app – free in the App Store, or the You Version Holy Bible App. Season 2 Episode 1 drops tonight at 8pm EST!!). They brought Jesus to life in a way that makes me weep with gratitude and sorrow. They brought the Bible to life in a way that made my relationship with God deepen, because as I read the Word now, it’s not just words I follow. I can actually picture, and imagine, and sense, and hear Jesus and His disciples saying these things. They’re not just words, they’re testimonies of real people. And that embodiment from the Chosen made it all the more real for me.
So then back in September when I was reading everything leading up to Jesus’s crucifixion, it hit different. I could vividly imagine what it must’ve been like for Simon Peter to be welcomed at the heavenly gates by Jesus. I wept imagining the embrace they must have had, because Peter was so loved by Jesus, and Jesus was so loved by Peter. He walked with Him and he talked with Him and he served Him long after He died for our sins.
And I realized that’s what it’s going to be like for us. That we are loved to that level of how Jesus loved Peter, and John, and the others… and the embrace that we are going to get when we meet our heavenly Father and the gates… it’s going to be beyond anything we can possibly imagine.
Then more recently, I read “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus,” and something shifted in me again. Now when I think of heaven it just feels different. When I imagine heaven I now think of people being invited to sit at the heavenly table. I think of those who don’t know Jesus yet. Who don’t understand that we were all on our way to hell, we still are, except God provided Jesus as our rescue from that path. And all we have to do accept in our hearts and say in our mouth that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. When we sin a debt is owed. Blood is the only acceptable payment to fulfill the debt. Animals used to be sacrificed to cover the debt of sin, but, no longer. We are saved from eternal damnation because Jesus died, paid for our sin debt by His blood and His blood alone, and was raised from the dead, conquering death so we are no longer bound to death and damnation. We are no longer separated from God because of our blemishes given to us by sin. Jesus tore that veil when He died, and we are welcomed into communion with the Father without anything or anyone standing in our way.
People sometimes say that Christianity is a crutch. I think they say this as an insult, essentially saying “Religion is a farce that helps make you feel better.”
So let’s say for a second, Christianity is crutch.
A crutch is a REAL contraption (aka it’s not magical or mythical) that you use when you are broken and hurting.
A crutch is something you use to help you stand on your own two feet when you otherwise could not.
A crutch might slow you down because, well, it’s not naturally part of us. But a crutch is necessary to help us get from Point A to Point B.
Not everyone needs a crutch, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t also hurt and broken. They might not be taking the time to actually heal from their hurt and brokenness, or maybe they think it’s not important enough to tend to with care and healing. Which then furthers the pain. Whereas the person with a crutch, know it’s a necessary part of their journey to healing and full restoration.
My faith has slowed me down, like a crutch.
It slowed me down in my anger, my lack of gentleness, my lack of humility and compassion, my pride, my manipulation, my adulterous ways, my bitterness, my slander, my gossip.
My “crutch” of faith has slowed me down, so that I can take time to heal. It’s slowed me down, even stopped me sometimes, so that I can restore the brokenness within me by taking a step back, stopping, and because of my inability to run anymore, to actually sit, rest, listen, and be fully restored.
My crutch of faith has given me the ability to accelerate in areas where I otherwise would’ve been immobile. It has accelerated me in love, grace, truth, wisdom, knowledge, care, compassion, gentleness, empathy, humility, purity, understanding, and patience.
So yeah if Christianity is a crutch, it’s the best tool I could’ve ever been given. Because I was getting nowhere on my own.