Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cared for by the Spirit

The other day while I was on my way to class, I was thinking about how I might respond if someone came up and asked me the question, "Have you been saved?".

This situation has actually never happened to me (at least not that I can recall), but I often consider what I would do in such a situation. This thought process is often a checkpoint for me; it allows me to consider questions such as: am I am actually considerate of the beliefs of others? Am I comfortable with my own spirituality in relation to that of others? Do I look beyond the words to the meaning and intent of the question posed? (Do I feel as though I would become defensive or offended in such a situation?)

Over time I find that my response has changed (as I have often considered this situation). The first time I considered it, I believe I didn't really know how I would respond - probably very apprehensively and uncomfortably I would say 'no' and then brace myself for a lecture I didn't want to hear; I was not clear about my own spirituality. There was a point in the last year where I would have felt offended and not respected; I was getting caught on words and not intentions - by feeling offended, I was not being considerate enough to interpret the meaning of such a question and was instead ignoring the care behind it. As a few months passed, this kind of reaction no longer felt right.

So the other day as I was again considering the situation, the following response came to me: "Do not concern yourself with me, I am under the care of the Spirit." This struck me quite significantly, as this message was as much for me as it would have been a response to another. I am often concerned about my own spirituality in an intellectual manner. I keep forgetting to be patient and to allow myself to be cared for by the Spirit. I must remember to say to myself, "Do not concern yourself so much, Friend, you are being cared for by the Spirit."

2 Comments:

Blogger Liz Opp said...

Decades had passed since the last time I was asked by someone, "Are you saved?" But there I was, sitting alone on a shuttle, going from the rental car agency to the airport, with a hard-of-hearing driver, whose first question to me was: Do you believe in God?

I could answer that question comfortably enough, but my gut told me more was coming.

Do you believe in Christ Jesus, Lord and Savior?

The thing about this question and the "Are you saved?" question is that regardless of how I respond, I still receive some sort of lecture, preaching, proselytizing, or what have you.

Though it was a bit funny, shouting my beliefs to the 75-year-old shuttle driver:

YES, I BELIEVE IN GOD. ...YES, I GO TO CHURCH. ...NO, I'M NOT CATHOLIC. ...I'M QUAKER. ...I'M QUAAA-KER!

I like what you offer as a response, Claire: "Do not concern yourself with me; I am under the care of the Spirit." But I think there will come a time when it really will be best for me to say, "I don't wish to talk with you about this. Please leave me alone."

Maybe I could even add, "Please leave me alone so that I can continue my worship." wink

Blessings,
Liz, The Good Raised Up

19/5/05 12:17 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Someone who is asking "Have you been saved" is putting their spiritual beliefs out there. My suggestion... do not hide your own. If you have the opportunity to speak to such a person take the time to do so. How much more meaningful a conversation than "Nice weather, eh?" Someone who asks such a question is yearning to share and test their own spiritual journey. If you take the time to share your beliefs with someone passionate enough to speak to a stranger about their own you each have an opportunity to test how much you do believe and maybe learn something about yourself in the exchange.

Matthew

20/5/05 7:08 PM  

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