As I was walking down Michigan Ave, enjoying a nice, sunny day off in the heart of Chicago, I couldn’t help but embrace the moments that transpired on Easter Sunday.
The story of redemption is somewhat confusing for the “unchurched”, for that matter, all of us! A man named Jesus boldly proclaimed that he was God. Not only did he proclaim this outlandish statement, he also said that he would die and after three days, would resurrect to prove his divinity. Jesus said all this. So, here I was in Chicago and I thought to myself, what do the people of the Windy City have to say about the Easter story? Do they believe any of it? What do they believe in?
The first encounter I had was with a lady at the Gap store. She was a graduate of Loyola University, where she studied film. She wanted to be an actress, but it wasn’t “panning” out for her like she hoped. We had a great discussion about the arts. I talked to her about the influence the arts world had become in the church. I described it as, “giving little people purpose and identity in our culture. It’s okay to enjoy dance, drama, and painting inside the Body of Christ.” I think she was startled by our conversation. I quickly picked up the hint that I was conversing with someone who didn’t want to discuss my 5 point stance on Creation, Fall, Redemption & Restoration. She was gracious with a concluding statement that looked like this,
“It’s incredible what individuals can do if they just find within themselves the beauty of self.”
So, I struck out on my first attempt, but four stores later I was at the check-out lane at H&M and I noticed the cashier was wearing a cross around her neck. I had an “in”. I asked her what the cross she was wearing symbolized. She stated that she was a Christian. I asked her what she believed about Jesus and if she celebrated Easter (seeing that it was the Monday after Easter Sunday). She missed Easter service because of work, but she attended a local church nearby. Maybe it was an oracle like the one Abraham’s servant had in choosing Isaac’s wife, but this girl was hurting, so I encouraged her to keep her identity and purpose on who Jesus is and what He did for her. And because Christ has over-come the grave, we have a power within us that surpasses all understanding.
She looked at us troubled and said, “Nobody in the years that I have been working here has ever talked to me about Jesus. It’s refreshing to believe that there are people out there that are still passionate about Jesus Christ.”
What do we do about this? I am in no way a martyr, but for my generation who has been labeled by Kevin DeYoung as, the “tinker generation” (http://www.christianbookpreviews.com/will-of-god.php) what are we going to stand for? Some of us like the girl at Gap will stand for everything that is beneficial to self. But what about standing for the one person who erased ALL SIN for humanity and gives us life to the fullest?