Friday, December 08, 2006

The truth really does set us free

God is good. That never changes. He is the same today as he was yesterday, and he will be the same tomorrow and forever. And he is always good.

I am blessed to have a ton of free time these days. I am no longer a student (yes, my diploma did arrive in the mail while I was away and is now hanging in my room in a lovely frame given me by my grandparents for anyone who may have had their doubts about my graduation). If you didn't catch the correlation there, not being a student = no more school. So my days are about working, either at church or at Ruby's, watching movies and reading books. I have never read so much in my life! I am having a great time. I am learning. I have finished Angels and Demons (Dan Brown), The Didymus Contingency (Jeremy Robinson), Wit (Margaret Edson) and Othello (Shakespeare). And I am going to start Deception Point (Dan Brown) and My Sister's Keeper (Jodi Picoult) within the next day or two, and The Kentucky Cycle (Robert Schenkkan) as soon as it arrives in the mail. And all the while I am slowly contemplating my way through Celebration of Discipline (Richard Foster), Captivating (John and Stasi Eldridge), and King Lear (Shakespeare). Needless to say...

Anyway, my brain has been high with literature in the last month and I find the more I read the more I want to read. So...there you go.

And my spirit is being filled more and more each time I go to work at Ruby's. (Are you surprised? I was too!) Turns out, I'd been leading a sort of "double life" without really being aware of it. See, I've worked at Ruby's Diner in Fullerton for five years now (My Ruby's five-year commemorative pin, valued at $30, has been ordered and will arrive soon). And over the last five years I transferred from a public school to a private Christian school to eventually no school at all, I got a job working for a church, I moved through a series of apartments until I ended up back home with my parents and now am living with two Christian friends, I have become more actively involved in ministry and missions..... Ruby's Diner in Fullerton is the only non-Christian environment remaining in my life. (More on why that is not a good situation in another the call to be in the world but not of the world and how I have not adhered to that is not the point.) The point that I am making, however, is that because of the evolvement of my life over time and the unchanging environment at Ruby's Diner I have discovered that I became different as my surroundings became different. And where they stayed the same, so did I. So...surprise, surprise...I found that I was unashamed to proclaim the gospel of Christ in all the wrong places (school, home, church) and far too hesitant to do so in the very very right place (work).

I made this discovery through a series of e-mails. You may have read them if I had your e-mail address with me in Peru. I sent out an update every month of my internship to just about every e-mail address that I had. Since my heart and my days in Peru were filled to overflowing with God and Jesus and The Spirit and every Christ-like thing, that's what came out in my updates. And I wrote my thoughts very un-guardedly, thinking I was writing to people who shared my belief system. It was not until after I sent out the first update and received an e-mail from my now good friend, Julio, that I realized what I had done. Julio wrote to me,

"hi morrison, it's julio. i read the letter you sent to ruby's. i hope it's going well in peru. i'm happy that you're able to help a lot of people there. i saw the pictures of you there and they're really nice. take care. -julio"

I about flipped out when I got that letter. (Insert sarcastic tone for the following) Not only had I been careless enough to send my God-filled update to Nikki, my manager at Ruby's, at her Ruby's e-mail address...I had also been completely stupid and actually written the entire thing in English and Spanish! So when she printed it out and posted it on the bulletin board at Ruby's, I was foolishly proclaiming the name of Christ the English speakers and the Spanish speakers who work with me!!! Amazing.

The bottom line is that I had gone on for a long time thinking I was unashamed of the gospel of Christ. When that was only partly true. I was a different person at work. Not a bad person. A good person. But I was relying on my goodness to speak Christ's name to my co-workers and not His name itself. I was a timid Christian. And so when Julio wrote to me and I realized that he had my e-mail address because I had forgotten that Ruby's Diner in Fullerton was on my update list and had sent them a wholly unguarded, God-filled letter which everyone had probably read by then....well I panicked a little. I went back and read the letter I had sent to all these people who knew I went to church (or maybe not) and who probably didn't know just how deep my faith ran...and I was astonished at the bold things I had written.

And then...that's when the freedom came. I thought to myself, "well...the jig is up. Nothing left to do now but be who I am." And I have not felt more alive. I wrote back to Julio, a personal, God-filled letter instead of a bulk one and felt really good about it. I continued to write unashamed updates of the work God was doing, and I continued, knowingly, sending them to Ruby's. And now I have been back at work for three weeks, a different person. No longer a closet Christian at work. No more "double life". And you will never believe what else has happened in that time; what has come because of the freedom!

I have to go. I'll tell you later. It's absolutely incredible!