No bumper stickers ornament my truck. Confession: I just can't be trusted with them. No Jesus fish. Family stick figures. Church symbols. Product names. We do have a soccer magnet that my kids like to move around the side panels, but the sport's known for attracting hotheads. I guess if I make a traffic no-no then, I told ya so.
My husband teases that I drive like a "grandma." In my defense, I carry precious cargo. I've wanted to put things on my truck, but I also know that the very first day I do, I'll inadvertently cut somebody off. Then I'll become singlehandedly responsible for God's name flying out in curse words all around town.
I can hear it now, "Learn how to drive, Jesus freak!" Not pretty, but it could happen. I myself recognize certain cars for their unique "flair," and my own inferences about the driver's character have been tainted by some of their more creative vehicle operating maneuvers. You get the drift.
I just can't be trusted to rep God's "brand" all over my truck. It's the same reason that I don't own a bunch of "Christian-y" t-shirts. The minute I decide to self-label my person or belongings "Christian," every word, action, and intention comes under scrutiny. Because, I can be the worst. Just like all of us who have faith, but who can't shake the "humanity" off, despite our best intentions.
Christian symbols are beautiful things. I love a piece of jewelry with meaningful scripture. I'm humbled to see a cross hanging around the neck of a friend, reminding me of the sacrifice made for us. The problem is that when I wear those things, or when I adorn the back of my vehicle, they're not visible to me. They're of no help. They give everybody around me information about my beliefs, but the visuals don't personally move me to action.
But. What if the visual was on the dash? Music was playing in the car? What if I replayed in my head the scriptures I'd memorized that morning? What if I spoke a prayer before the kids got out of the car for school?
Our hope and guidance has to be set right in front of our eyes. Habits, day-after-day. If not, faith is nothing more than a quickly scribbled resolution shoved in the back of the junk drawer. Symbols are a wonderful thing, but only if they have a direct affect on the way that we live our lives.
We the people make the church. Let others recognize our faith, long before we brand ourselves spiritual.
Honk if you love Jesus (or not),
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.