My life is an open book. The problem is too often people are blind and God did not write my story in braille.
I like to believe that I am an open book: pages easily accessible and legible to anyone willing to read. What I’ve found is that most people would rather skim through the pages and paraphrase what they can understand instead of going in depth. Even more, people will read the back cover or preface to decide whether it’s even worth the read.
There are many pages of my past that I used to wish could be ripped out and burned. But, growing in my faith has shown me those chapters were necessary for my character development. Without those chaotic back stories of abuse, molestation, self-mutilation and homosexuality (oh how the the list could go on and on), my salvation wouldn't be as climactic as it’s been.
People read one another every day. Some are easier to read than others. As Christians, believers of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, we should be the easiest to read. Like open books with the pages amplified, when someone crosses our paths, without knowing anything about who we are as people, we should be read as God’s children.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. “ (Philippians 2:3-4)
The title of our life as written by God has no problem captivating the hearts of others. It’s when we choose what chapters we want people to read that God’s AUTHORity is questioned and we keep ourselves and our stories from bringing others to Him. Think about how many stories from your own past that you've kept from people just to keep them around.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
When God came after my heart, I stood in front of a congregation of people I had never met and admitted my sins. Someone came to me afterwards and told me I was “bold” and that she would never have had the nerve to do what I did. I am now understanding the impact my salvation could have had on someone in that room. We never know who shares the same struggles without sharing our struggles.
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12)
The first steps in walking in faith are always the hardest as we try and forget our pasts and create Christian relationships separate from anyone knowing the real reason we've allowed God to take control. We are often so afraid of what others will think of us. But, when we learn to love as Jesus loved and the Father loved Him, we love ourselves enough to share our stories to reach others.
“ Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”’ (Matthew 22:37-40)
In the way that we carry ourselves, God’s commandments should be written on our lives and our stature. A complete stranger is able to see us from a distance and read all over us that we love God wholeheartedly and that we love others as we love ourselves. How can we expect to love anyone if we do not love ourselves enough to be vulnerable with one another?
Like a feather-tipped pen dipped in eternally bleeding ink, our skin should be like paper soaking in every drop from the words scripted beautifully upon our lives.
Jasmine Hernandez is a young woman growing everyday in her walk with Jesus. After years of struggling to define Christianity by her own terms with dictionaries and textbooks, God met Jasmine at her well on Valentine's Day. She was saved countless times over the span of her 23-years, but this time it was different. The pull on her heart and the way He spoke directly to her had her standing at the altar screaming out for Freedom! She actively writes for a Christian-blog, is a member of a spoken word/poetry group, and does freelance content writing. She prays that God uses her words to touch those who have similar stories by being completely transparent about her tarnished and now redeemed past.