Do you know that there are points in the ocean that no light can reach? Thanks to my curious six year old I can tell you more about the midnight zone of the ocean than I probably realize, but I find it fascinating all at the same that there are parts of the world so dark that the light of our sun can’t reach. I often wonder if we could read the minds of the creatures who live at that level if they’d even believe us if we told him the surface is illuminated by the light of giant ball of plasma 93 million miles away (thank you “They Might Be Giants” children’s songs for ensuring I’ll never forget that fact).
One of the more regular complaints I hear from my non-Christians friends is that Christians don’t do what they say. They complain that we’re meant to be pro-life, but don’t do pro-life things. They complain that we’re meant to be loving, but don’t do loving things. They complain that we’re meant to be charitable, but don’t do charitable things. They complain loudly that we don’t do Christian things.
But here’s the thing . . . it’s not about what we’re not doing, it’s all about what they’re not seeing.
Have you ever walked out of a dark room into bright sunlight? It hurts your eyes, and it’s hard to see until your eyes have acclimated. This is why those people complain that we’re not doing what we believe in. They’re in the darkness trying to see into the light. Occasionally they might be venturing into the light themselves, but for the moment they can’t see. In fact, there are many people swimming in a midnight zone of their own making—so far away from light, so surrounded by the dark that the thought of light and warmth seems an impossibility. These are the people who tell us our motives are wrong or our actions incomplete, not because they are right, but because they cannot see.
We do not need to share on social media each time we donate to a worthy cause, clock in our volunteer hours, or sign the paperwork to bring a child into our homes through fostering or adoption. We don’t need to proclaim the amazing things we do in the name of God every day whether we’re brave missionaries in foreign countries or brave missionaries in our own homes, work places, and schools. We are not called to proclaim our own goodness, but His, to others and in prayerful praise. It doesn’t matter if people don’t see what we’re doing, because when we walk in the light with God, everything is illuminated by Him.
Do you feel criticism over whether or not you’re “christian enough”? Look inside and see if you’re listening to what God is asking of you. There’s your answer.
Molly Walter is a Catholic convert, wife and mother to one crazy five year old, a new baby girl and four saints in heaven. She uses her degree in Theatre more as mother than she did while in the business. She enjoys reading, knitting, and rescuing third class relics from Goodwill. Find out more about her here.