For those who don’t know this about me, I work in a warehouse. I have been at my job for over 23 years now. I have done several different jobs there over the years. I started as an 18 year-old kid stacking boxes while loading trailers to a now 41 year-old man who drives an industrial battery-powered pallet mover through a huge warehouse for 12 hours a day. I was a Christian for just over 20 of my 23 years I’ve been in the warehouse. Not once in all that time did I have the desire to pull someone aside and ask that dreaded question:
“Can I talk to you about Jesus?”
The reason I bring this up, is that my manager (a woman) had someone from another shift, who was in working overtime, give her “the talk.” Why did he talk to her about Jesus? Well, two reasons were mentioned, and one that probably rubbed this believer the wrong way but was left unmentioned.
In our building, we had no music playing for 22 years, just work, work and more work. Then about a year ago, management decided to allow music to be played through the P.A. system in between requests for assistance that people had to page out. The music played is company approved, radio friendly hits from all different decades of music. It’s played on a loop and can get rather repetitive. This man approached my manager and complained to her that a lot of the songs offended him as a Christian because some of the themes, he deemed to be sinful in nature. She basically told him that all the songs were determined to be decent by radio standards and no one else had made a complaint about them. Then…
He felt compelled to talk to her about her tattoos. You see, my manager has full “sleeves” of tattoos on her arms, tattoos on her back, chest, legs, hands and feet. She also has a ring in her nose. None of this affects her job performance whatsoever. In fact, she is one of the best managers I’ve ever had since I started there. I don’t know all the details about what was said to her, but it was something to do with the body being a temple for God and about presenting yourself in a way pleasing to the Lord. I think (just my opinion) that the real reason he spoke to her was because of something more offensive than tattoos to many Christians. My manager is in a lesbian relationship.
*Full disclosure* I don’t think he actually said anything about it to her when he spoke to her, but her wife also works in the same building and it’s no secret to anyone that they are together. I do not want to just assume that her relationship is the reason he spoke to her, but I know many people (including many managers in that building) who are equally or even more tattooed with her that could have talked to him about the music. But he singled her out and had a long conversation about how much Jesus loves her. He felt compelled to give her an earful of the gospel. He may not care about her relationship, but if music and tattoos are anti-God and offensive because of what the Bible says, then it’s not very far-fetched to think that something condemned in Leviticus would also be on his mind. Again, I do not know that for sure.
Here’s my question: Why is it anyone’s business who believes what? If you believe in Jesus, fine. Believe whatever you want to. If you don’t, then that’s fine too. If you feel that someone who looks different than you or is living a lifestyle contrary to what you personally are okay with…so what? That’s none of your business. This is something I touched on in one of my recent posts called “Why Does Evangelism Exist?” If Jesus exists somewhere and actually cares about what is being said in his name, why not say it himself? Why do we need people to speak up for him whenever they personally feel offended by something?
If you’ve ever worked in a warehouse or any job away from the public, you know that things can be said that are a bit raw and inappropriate. I hear people say stuff all the time that would make me cover my kids’ ears if they were around. However, I can just walk away if I don’t like it. If two people are talking and I am uncomfortable, it’s my problem, not theirs. If you hear music you don’t like, focus on your work and tune it out. It’s not very loud anyway. Or better yet, pray for the singers who are spreading what you think is filth. Why does anyone need to hear about Jesus secondhand from someone who heard it from someone else who heard it from someone else, who…etc…
If God the father, Jesus the son or the holy spirit (or any other god from any of the other religions) want to reach out to us, they know where to find each and every one of us. The fact that they don’t, says it all. If you are easily offended by radio singles, tattoos or anything else that other people are doing with their lives, you need to step back, take a deep breath and take some time for some introspection. Life is far too short to judge anyone and everyone in very offensive and vocal ways. Looking at someone’s body art and talking to them about what the Bible says about it is offensive. Slapping a “Jesus Loves You” sticker on it afterwards doesn’t excuse the hurtful and personal condemnation.
So if you want to talk to me about Jesus, I will politely decline and ask for you to tell your boss upstairs to get off his throne and do it himself. Then, maybe I’d listen. I’ve heard it all before from many people over the years and they all have the same exact amount of evidence to back up their claims and justify their beliefs. That amount is zero. I know why they think like they do because I was once one of them.
I am fine with you thinking whatever you want about me. That’s your prerogative. But I don’t want to hear your negative views that are clearly your own opinions and then have you explain that it is not personal, but merely because “the Bible says this or that.”
Can you talk to me about how much Jesus loves me? No. Can you talk to me about why I am a sinner and need forgiveness? No. I want to talk about these things about as much as I’d like to talk to you about your hemorrhoids. Both are uncomfortable pains in the ass that I’d rather not spend time talking (or thinking) about. Also, between the Gospel and your hemorrhoids, only one of these things is verifiably real. Can you guess which one it is? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the one found right near the opening that you talk out of when you talk to me about the veracity of Jesus’s miracles, Bible authenticity and answered prayers.
No thank you.