Blessings are the spiritual equivalent of breathing in, and prayer is the spiritual equivalent of breathing out.
- Monsignor Tom Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman
Yesterday I received an invitation to a small luncheon in honor of a friend. I very much want to go, but the invite says the event is “for bloggers and writers, to discuss what we can do to further the Kingdom.” That makes my stomach sink: it sounds like a party where I don’t belong.
On the surface you might think my reaction is ridiculous. After all, I blog and I write and I care deeply about the kingdom of God. But I don’t think of myself as a blogger and writer; I think of myself as a Christian who happens to blog and write. The distinction is important, because if people don’t know something about Jesus simply by knowing me, I have no business saying or writing a single word about faith.
There’s a saying attributed to Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words, if necessary.” If I were struck mute tomorrow, or had an accident that left me unable to ever write another word, I hope Christ shines clearly enough in me that my family and friends and neighbors and even strangers would still be able to see his light.
Words are useful, of course. But they can never take the place of what people see and sense about us. We have to live our faith before we preach it.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.