Juggling Fire

For Christy: “He’s My God, Too”

(My wrap-up and personal application for 1 Timothy in the School of Biblical Studies, University of the Nations.)

I had a friend in high school who upon hearing the phrase, “Oh, gawwwwd,” would always, every time, she never missed a beat, the second it came out of someone’s mouth retort, “He’s my God, too.”

Used to drive us nuts.

We’d roll our eyes and twist our necks as we looked her up and down, trying to find one iota of evidence to let us know that maybe, just maybe, she was just kidding. Eventually, we thought she would break, join the status quo, take up with those of us who took the Lord’s name in vain every single day, probably at least once an hour.

Never happened. She was as serious as a heart attack when she corrected us.

She would look right back at us, solid as a rock, dead in the eye and wait for us to justify our blaspheming.

We never could. We knew she was right. It didn’t stop us, but maybe it did deter us on occasion from blurting out those awful words. I can tell you now, for sure, that it hurts my ears just thinking about saying that phrase so nonchalantly, without a care in the world.

These days, my more conservative self (Did I just call myself conservative? Ugh. Now, that is one way I never thought I’d describe myself) can’t stand to hear that phrase. Whether it be on television or in a movie or in casual conversation, that phrase makes me wish I were deaf for that moment in time. My ears ring. My mouth gets dry. I squeeze my eyes shut like that will make the ringing – and the memory of it all – go away.

I hate hearing those words so much that I even struggled with how I would write the phrase in my opening paragraph.

Should I write “God?” How about “god?” I started with “gawd.” But then finally settled on “gawwwwd” because, well, that’s how it usually sounded when we said it, all drawn out and dramatic-sounding like a typical 16-year-old making a big deal about probably much of nothing, and also because it wasn’t the actual word, which I couldn’t even bear to write knowing I was using it as example to illustrate that ugly black mark from my past.

I wonder, though, how would I actually feel about it today if my friend would not have hassled us day in and day out with her signature slogan of “He’s my God, too.”

Drove me nuts then but warms my heart now. Thanks, Christy. Your persistence paid off.

“Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” – 1 Timothy 4:11-12, 15-16

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