If I can only “follow Christ” better by selling everything and becoming one of the poor, if I can only “follow Christ” better by withdrawing from this world in one form of retreat or another, if I see myself needing the desert of distance from that which is comfortable and normal, if I need to go to church to be close to God … If I “need” something I have not yet got in order to “follow Jesus” more closely –
Why might that be?
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I sit here with a job, an income, a home and family. I sit here looking out on the digital world through my television, my computer, my smart phone. I walk with those who do not believe a God exists as defined and validated by the sacred texts of religion. I walk with those who the church defines sinners, deems the lost, names the unchurched. I talk with those who name themselves something that makes sense only to them. I laugh with those who see the world through a different lens. I live with those who do not speak with me nor I them.
For my neighbour has the choice to live as they see fit no matter what I believe and no matter who “I follow”. For I do not have to become poor to connect with “the poor”. I do not have to become my neighbour to love my neighbour.
I do not have to smell unwashed. I do not have to live as they live nor they as me. For I think that not “following” better. I think that pretending. I think that withholding. I think that not connecting. I think that sampling. Like a dj on decks providing for someone else. Providing for the listeners. But yet apart.
How do I follow?
I think by not following at all.
I think that I become a follower when I become who I am.
I think that I become a follower when becoming who I am allows you to become who you are.
I think I become a follower when I see no difference in your colour, your country, your income, your power, your religion, your faith or your absence of faith.
I think I become a follower …
By not following at all.