Sometimes I don’t mention all that God stuff to other people or in a blog post because I want to fit in with other people or other photographers.
And … ouch.
Did I really just write that?
Did I really just admit that?!
Knowing some of my Christian friends or acquaintances will read it?!
Is it right for me to feel that way? Well, no, of course not. I shouldn’t feel the need to hide who I am so I fit in with all my photography peeps, or anyone else, and most of the time I don’t. But sometimes, every once in awhile, and less now than I used to, I do feel weird about mentioning my faith in a blog post or on my “business page” when I know it might also be read by other photographers, who may not hold the beliefs I do.
Am I ashamed of my faith or of Christ? Absolutely not! Do I think I’m better than someone who doesn’t believe what I believe? Ummm… not at all.
And maybe that last one is why I sometimes hesitate to include thoughts about Christianity in a blog post where I am also rambling about photography. I don’t want to alienate anyone who doesn’t practice my faith and I also don’t want them to feel as if I think I’m better than them because of my beliefs. Hopefully, though, they can tell by my words that I don’t feel superior to them.
When it comes down to it, I don’t care as much now as I once did about “fitting in” with other photographers. We all like to be liked, sure, but it isn’t even that for me. I like having someone else to talk to about photography because in my little corner of the world I don’t know any other photographers IRL (In Real Life) who will just sit and talk about photography with me. My online photographer friends are the only ones who “get me. Like, really, get me!” (I don’t know if they really like me but they get me.)
Sometimes I think “If I offend them somehow I won’t have anyone to talk about the new editing trick I learned in Lightroom. The one no one else in my life really cares about but pretends they do because they’re hoping if they appear interested I will eventually stop talking about it.”
Lately I’ve been thinking about how often we walk through life during these sensitive times, tip toeing around everyone because we are so afraid of who we are going to offend. Think about how the pieces of who we really are keep falling off us and disappearing until we don’t even recognize ourselves, only because we feel like we have to make everyone happy and offend no one. It can become a very stressful life to live.
Think about it, though, isn’t that what Jesus did? Didn’t he offend a lot of people here on earth? I mean he didn’t exactly come here to tell everyone they were doing a great job and keep on doing everything they are doing. He didn’t walk around patting people on the back all day long or asking them to forgive him if he’d offended them by telling them they were living in sin and needed to change to make their life better.
He walked into a temple and flipped tables. He called the merchants who had made those temples market places “vipers.” He flipped conventional ideas of religion right up over on it’s head. He told people who condemned that if they were so perfect then they could pick up the stones and start flinging them at those they thought were so beneath them. He reminded Lucifer his place in the world God created. He told us that we will never be able to work our way to heaven because He completed that work on the cross.
While he was kind and encouraged loving others, he was also bold and outspoken and didn’t pretend he wasn’t who He said He was, even though it made him an outcast among the religious leaders of the time. He healed people on the sabbath. He spoke when he was urged to be silent. He moved through life unconcerned what others though of him because he knew his mission was more important than their view of him.
That’s how we need to be – willing to make decisions and speak out, not based on what someone else may think of us when we do it or say it, but based only on what is right, true, and authentic to ourselves.