"I don't do Jesus", she said. "But my kids do and that's okay."
These words poured from the lips of the well-meaning mum of a child whom I pick up for Kids Club each week. At 4:15PM every Sunday afternoon you'll find me strolling through town in my little 1993 Nissan Sentra making rounds in the nearby (and not-so-nearby) neighbourhoods, picking up children for our "Energize Kids Club".
On my previous visits to this particular home, mum was no where to be found, refusing to come to the door, leaving the kids to be sent off by an older sibling or auntie. But this time was different. With a baby on the hip and a cigarette poised between her fingers, she wanted to make it clear that she doesn't "do Jesus". . .but her kids do, and that was okay.
I assured her of our gratitude in her allowing her children to attend kids club and that she is always invited to join us or call anytime. We exchanged cell-phone numbers and were on our way.
What made this encounter so different, I wonder? What motivated her to approach me this time?
Was her bold proclamation that she doesn't "do Jesus" really a revelation of the insecurity that she felt inside, as if her heart were actually crying out for her children to experience something better than what she had?
Could it be that she didn't feel worthy of Christ's love and approval, that she was too old or too far gone? Could it be that she had been burnt or hurt by someone claiming to "do Jesus" in the past , placing within her mouth a bad taste for the Christian faith?
At this point, I do not know what messages her life circumstances and relationships have communicated to her, but I do know this:
Jesus will keep pursuing her and so will we. I can just see us chuckling together a few years down the road when she is free and whole in Christ, reminiscing about this conversation and how Christ has turned her around. At that point she'll say, "I DO Jesus..and so do my kids. . .and that's okay."
Please pray for this mum. For the purposes of this blog, we'll call her "Sharon" (That is not her real name.)