Usually several times a week I visit the local Caribou Coffee shop. It’s just minutes from our home. We’ve gotten to know the manager and many of the employees. Our daughter got a job here last fall. It’s a familiar and cozy hangout for me.
As I sit and work – sometimes writing, sometimes planning and scheduling, and sometimes just reading – I often get distracted by all the conversations going on. I’m a people watcher so I suppose it’s amazing I can even be productive at all, sitting in a public place.
The other day, I overheard an older gentleman talking to a bit younger one about Christianity and healing and church. It was obvious that you could dub the relationship as one of ‘discipleship’. A couple tables over, I hear 2 younger men talking about Christianity and struggles of life. Across the room, I see a pastor and likely one of his staff members. Laptops open, lots of talking. Possibly planning this Sunday’s service.
Overall, I love that our city is full of public Christians. One’s that aren’t afraid of loud conversations, Bibles open and the name of Jesus. But it also leaves me wondering how much smoke is being blown.
Let me explain. A week ago, I hosted a women’s gathering. We listened to a seasoned Christian woman share her story. This woman is one I adore for her authenticity and she shared the good, the bad and the ugly. And trust me, she had some serious past ugly to share. But one thing she said, that has stuck with me for days is, “Be yourself and don’t blow smoke.” I translated as, don’t be fake. Don’t just say what people want to hear or what is the ‘correct Christian answer’.
Sometimes I wonder how much of the conversations I overhear are full of smoke, filling the air of the local coffee shop. As Christians, we know the drill. We know what we’re supposed to say, what we’re supposed to feel. So, whether it’s truly us or not, we spout off our Christianese for all to hear.
I don’t want to be a smoke blower. I don’t think it benefits the world around us at all. In fact, this beautiful friend said on Monday night, that if we have smoke whisping around our faces, we can’t be a clear reflection of Jesus to the world around us.
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord…” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)
So Christians, let’s not fog up the mirror of our lives with nasty smoke… Just be yourself and let His glory shine through!