“You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?” –Mark Twain
He forgot the part about a man saying he will rise from the dead, and then doing so.
Religion and faith are always contentious issues. Mainly because they intervene and interfere with almost every aspect of common life. People will tend to disagree or feel encroached upon when beliefs are stated. Even moreso when a certain belief is lived in plain view of others. If it is not ‘normal’ it may offend and it may clash. Normalcy is not the first and foremost objective of a life of faith.
For instance, it is easier to talk about bunnies and chocolate eggs at Easter than it is to discuss a man coming out of a stone grave.
I was reminded of this recently on a trip to an amusement park. Amidst the mayhem of
kids screaming and people nearly puking between rides, I witnessed this anomaly in action. While people pushed and pulled their way through the walkways, each individually trying to experience this collective experience, an individual set himself apart. And people gave him a wide berth not wanting to be too closely associated.
It was his time for prayer, so he knelt and prayed in accordance with his religious custom.
The political tension was high at this time, and now the visible expression of religion set the tone for the crowd. Hence the 20-foot radius around him. His religion was different from mine, but I admired his action in that moment. Regardless of all that could happen in that space, his devotion was recognized and visibly abnormal to all who witnessed it. It was political without activism, devoted without imposition, and disruptive without intent to do so.
Life after Sunday can do all of those things, because faith creates disruption to what may or may not seem normal to the crowd around you.