Compass: Not sure about Christianity, but sure about Jesus

"What do you think about Christianity?" The man asked me. I was helping him carry sheetrock. We had been on the job together for two weeks. I liked him. He was easy to work with and patient when I needed things shown to me. And then he asked me.

I bristled a bit, afraid I was about to be preached at and judged. I went into defense mode, but only for a second. And then I smiled and said. "I think Jesus is wonderful. I believe in everything he stood for and taught." Though I see great value in fellowship, I have yet to find a church or spiritual group that I feel completely comfortable in. But I sure feel comfortable with Jesus.

I'm not sure why, but for as long as I can remember I've felt an aversion to the Christian category. I think it's because I always assumed I wasn't in it, that I wouldn't be included. Or maybe I would, if I said the right things, but someone else might be left out. I've never quite understood the conditions for who gets to be a Christian and who doesn't. But if it leaves anyone out, I don't want it.

I'm pretty sure that God, and Jesus, and all of the angels love me. There is a popular song that tells me so. Even more so, I know it because I see it in everything that is around me. There are amazing, miraculous, moments every day. Every hour. When I look for it, I see the Great Spirit in everything.

There is a great source of life from where we all came. It is the same. I can see it in the sparkle of the carpenter's blue eyes. And in the laugh lines, formed over time. In his sturdy hands and ruddy face. We all want the same thing. We all came from the same place. The Carpenter. Jesus. Me. We all came from Thee.

There used to be a preacher who would stop by my house every Sunday to see if I was going to church. This went on for about a year. One day I told him that I prayed in my closet, and that God heard me fine from there. I believed this to be true, and still do. But my words to the preacher that day were filled with arrogance and irritation. I realize now that the community preacher was just trying to help, in the best way he knew how.

I'm glad the carpenter asked me about my faith. It showed that he cared. I'm glad I answered without haste. We may not look at things exactly the same, but that's no matter. We both like to praise.

Chantelle Pence is