Billboards or Signs?

There’s a billboard between Dallas and Fort Worth sponsored by a group of atheists. It attacks our religious freedom in large letters and bold words.

How do we fight evil assault against Christianity and our religious rights, one of the foundation stones of our country?

We fight with the Truth. We have the power to speak the truth in love. We don’t have to be billboards assaulting the rights of others to make our point.

We are Christians ready to speak that truth in love. We are under the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit who prompts us when to speak, who to speak to and what to say.

The unbeliever must rely on his own power and a small army of misguided militants. We have the power of Almighty God, the church militant and the church triumphant beside us in this conflict.

These temporary skirmishes are important in today’s fight for religious freedom, even though we know who has already won the war for souls. We are the foot soldiers with the opportunity and the responsibility to fight for Truth. But not with billboards, but as the signs that we are in Christ. He has prepared us and placed us in this time and place for this fight. So with confident assurance and with the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we can speak the truth in love to anyone and everyone in any and every situation whenever and wherever we are lead.

It’s no accident that we are where we are, in our role in life and in our relationships with those around us. Like Queen Esther we have a destiny to fulfill in our position in life right where we are now. She was in a unique place to stand up for God’s people and their rights. God  positioned her as queen to be available at this critical moment. Esther was the only one who could appeal to the king and stop the genocide of her people.

But she had to risk everything. She prepared herself for days with prayer and fasting, then put on her regalia and approached the king. He could have killed her for this brash disrespect, but instead he extended his scepter and bid her come in. She revealed her true identity as one of God’s people, and foiled the plot of Prince Haman to kill all the Jews in the Persian Empire for their religious beliefs.

Because of her role in life, her circumstances and relationships, Esther alone could do what no one else could do and take the risk no one else could.

First she recognized the problem only she could solve. Then she had to say “yes” to a dangerous mission.

With her people supporting her, she prepared herself with fasting and prayer to make sure her heart was pure and her relationship with God solid. She had to rely on his strength and mercy completely. She couldn’t look to any political authority for security or to answer her prayer for justice, for it was Prince Haman who was plotting to kill the Jews.

She had the joy of the Lord and his love alone, but that was more than enough. She did all she could to get ready, and then she took the risk.

Like Esther we may be the only one available to defend God’s people in the circumstances and relationships of our daily lives. We may be in a unique situation at work or school or exercise class or a neighborhood ballgame when we are prompted to speak the truth in love in defending God’s people and our religious rights.

We may be the only one God has positioned to take this risk at this moment. When we keep our hearts pure and rely on God alone, the joy of the Lord alive in our hearts can radiate his love and mercy to those insensitive to religious justice.

We are not to be shocking billboards that assail the senses and stomp on the rights of others. But we are signs. Who we are in Christ empowers us to shine with his righteousness. His truth is more powerful and lasting than any temporary billboard.

Copyright © 2012, Nancy Ward

Nancy Ward

Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward, author of Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story, was once a shy convert. She has spent decades writing about conversion, Christian community, and the Catholic faith. After earning a journalism degree, she worked for many years for the Texas Catholic (newspaper of the Diocese of Dallas) and the Archbishop Sheen Center for Evangelization, and later began her own editing service. An active member of the Catholic Writers Guild and a regular contributor to a number of high-profile Catholic publications online, she also has a busy blog on spirituality called Joy She’s a contributing author to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. Now, through her Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story workshops, retreats, book, and DVD, she shares her conversion story at Catholic parishes and conferences, equipping others to share their own stories.

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