Two weekends ago, I headed up to a wedding in New Jersey. I had met the bride, B, in 2010 when we both worked in the shop at a Young Life camp, Rockbridge. We spent a solid month together, just the two of us and the shop manager. And when you spend all day with someone in an environment centered around the Lord when you’re going through a pretty emotional time of your life (read: college), you become extremely close. A rock for each other.
Since then, we’ve seen each other a grand total of 4 times over the last 6 years, twice of which as part of the bridal party in our respective weddings. She got to experience a rustic southern wedding on my end, and I just traveled up for her romantic Jersey wedding. The whole weekend was an absolute blast – a wedding for the books no doubt. And while I met some of the most amazing people through B over the weekend, one of the neatest conversations I had occurred with the beautician who did my make up.
See, I’m from the Bible Belt. You grow up in a church and Christianity is typically a prominent part of the community. That’s the life I’m used to, and really the only experience I have.
When working on my makeup, the artist asked how I knew the bride. When I told her, her immediate response was “I knew it! I knew you guys were Christians. I could just tell.”
She proceeds to tell me that she was a Young Lifer too, and worked at a camp like we did. She mentioned that it’s so rare for her to find other Christians in New York and New Jersey, that she gets so excited when she comes across them. She said she could tell we were Christians from our joy. Our interactions with each other.
YES. You guys, as a Christian – this is one of the best feelings you can have. To hear someone say they knew you loved Jesus just by who you are. By who you are with one another.
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13: 34-35
This should be the way that it is all of the time, everywhere we go. This love we have to share is so pure, it’s so good that even when we aren’t intentionally sharing it, the Lord is working through it. He’s that powerful – just by living in his love, people see it and they know. A city on a hill cannot be hidden, and he is the proudest of hills.
It almost feels a little silly to build this moment up so much, and I’m failing to adequately describe it. Between the surprise and unabashed joy in her voice, the unexpectedness of it, and the instant link we then had… it was eye-opening. It proved to me something that I think I needed to be reminded of – even when I’m not living my best version of myself or carrying my faith the way that I could, he is present in me nonetheless. Not in the he’s-always-with-me way, in the he-shines-through-me-even-when-I-can’t-see-him way.
Because, despite how worthy I am, he lets me be a light. And that’s the thing about lights… they shine brighter when they’re with others. And when they’re bright, they refuse to be hidden. They are seen.