I learned at a very young age that my voice didn't carry much weight. The youngest of four children, and a small framed girl, I didn't have much power. I was the absolute bottom of the totem pole. Domestic abuse was my example of family, and marriage. Words flew like daggers. Dishes flew, sometimes fists. Wrestling matches on the kitchen floor were not uncommon and not the playful fun kind. Red and blue flashing lights.
Christianity and kindness seemed unrelated. Paranoia and prophecy reigned supreme. N words and f words and all manner of unkind words poured from lips that professed the name of Jesus, and even then I knew. This is not it. This is not Him. Because you see, I knew my Jesus. He and I would cry together in the cold, dark linen closet as my tears fell on the soft, cool piles of sheets underneath me. It was there that I hid when the rages came. I felt His presence. He offered no words of advice. He never told me it would all be ok. He wept with me, and I was not alone.
A dear friend asked me, how did I know? How did I really know that Jesus was real? I didn't tell him about my linen closet Jesus. I just told him that I had felt His presence in a way that was so strong, there was no denying it. He smiled and we continued our awkward middle school bus ride.
It was hard to reconcile. And really, my experience being raised in a turbulent Christian household could have been enough to push me totally away from my faith in Christ. But I could not shake His presence. It wasn't until I read these words as young teen that I knew that I was not the only one in the faith that saw the conflict between the voice of the believer, and the behavior of the believer. The contradiction was there when the books were written, and it was called out.