Being on-fire for my faith is one thing when I’m out in public.
Those people out there, after all, don’t see me first thing in the morning, before I’ve had my coffee or eased into the reality of a new day.
Those innocents haven’t heard me when I’ve had a long day of frustrating interactions and trying tug-of-wills with everyone from the grocery store clerk to the toddler I named.
Those lucky folks haven’t had to walk through the minefield of my misunderstandings and bad hearing.
It’s all too easy to be “good” at being Christian when I’m around people I don’t have to live with, who don’t have to live with me. I can love my neighbor pretty easily when she’s someone I don’t have to cajole into eating every. single. morning.
These people in my home, though, they’re my real audience. There’s no faking with them.
Go ahead, ask them about my bad habits. Inquire after my biggest faults. Delve into the deep of what I’ve done wrong.
They’ll tell you, that’s for sure.
I’ve noticed something lately, though. As hard as I am on myself, these people who bear the brunt of me and the fullness of my faults have a certain mercy that I can’t explain.
They forgive me in ways I can’t (don’t) forgive myself.
Where’d they learn that? Why do they do that? How do they know to act that way?
Nope, I’m not taking any credit, but I am taking notes. The hardest work of evangelization is within the walls of my home, where the meatballs meet the spaghetti and the spaghetti’s flung onto the wall by an enterprising helper.
Those socks making a path to the back bathroom aren’t just a challenge for me to face with a smile and not a yell. They’re also an opportunity for me.
Somehow, some way, God is conspiring to get me to heaven. Thankfully, I have all these people to help me figure it out.
Copyright 2016, Sarah Reinhard