be not afraid

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Have you ever had one of those days? One of those days where you are just so thankful. It’s as if sunshine is gushing from every pore. Everything is going well and you’re just…happy. That’s me right now. It’s 60 degrees and sunny. I’m sitting outside on a blanket with my sister and we are soaking up the sun. And the silence. Well, the both of us are silent, the world is wide awake.

Birds are singing. There is a slight breeze that makes the trees dance. The dogs are sniffing, scratching, and smelling. The world is alive. And it is so beautiful. It’s quite breathtaking actually. From a young age, my father taught me the importance of being outside. I truly believe it can cure anything.

So who is responsible for the beauty of the world? For the trees, animals, and the wind?

God.

God is everywhere and in everything.

Yet, God is usually absent from my writing. I’ve been thinking about why something that is so important to me is rarely a subject/part of my writing. To put it simply, it is because I’m afraid. From what I’ve seen and experienced, people see Christians as hateful and judgmental (and I realize that this may just be my opinion and would love to hear opposing/similar thoughts about this topic). Some Christian’s views on issues such as gay marriage and abortion can cause tension with those who hold opposing views.

I’m not here to argue on what I believe or what is right or wrong, I’m here to argue that I’m afraid to even try. I am afraid to argue with my friends because I do not want people to feel alienated. I also do not want to feel alienated. I keep my faith to myself.

But that is not the God that I believe in. It’s not enough to wear a cross around my neck and call myself a Catholic. I have to live it. I have to speak about God. And the best way to share God is to love. Love your enemies and especially those who have different view points from you.

The God I believe in calls us to love and serve one another, no matter what. This includes women, men, Muslims, immigrants, the woman who recently had an abortion, those who have hurt you, members of the LGBTQ community, etc. We are not called to judge, we are called to love. We can disagree with certain topics but our compassion for others should not depend on whether or not our beliefs align.

Jesus ate with sinners, the poor, and the sick. He never once said, “I love everyone…well, except for you…” Jesus loved without boundaries and that is the type of love I aim to share.

This includes my love for God and bringing my love for Him into the light. After all, we are called to “be not afraid”.

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