I have been reading lots of articles and Facebook status updates and blog posts the past few days, all regarding Easter and the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. One blog post in particular, stood out to me. It was a very bold declaration of his faith. It brought to my mind the admonition to "stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places." I believe in the importance of being that witness, but I have never been very good at actually doing it. I am not bold.
I know that my fear of sharing my beliefs began as a child, living in a place where my siblings and I were the only members of our faith in our school. Some kids made fun of me. Others were not allowed to play with us because of our religion. I began to avoid all topic of religion. I was embarrassed about my faith, even though I had a testimony in my heart at a very young age that it was true. Even as an adult, I have felt some of that fear and embarrassment. It is hard to outgrow.
One thing that I later realized is that I was never embarrassed about my actual beliefs. Most people who actually study and pray will learn that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that it can bless their lives. I feel no shame in that faith. I felt more embarrassed, imagining what they thought about me and about my religion. I knew many of the lies that they had been taught in their churches regarding my religion. The other kids would talk openly about it to me. I was embarrassed that they thought bad things about my church. How silly of me to be embarrassed that other people's preachers taught them things that were not true! How stupid of me not to proclaim my faith so that they knew the truth instead of the lies! I realize now that their misconceptions should have had no bearing on my willingness to share the Gospel. It's hard to realize things like that when I am busy being embarrassed.
At least now I have too many valid things to be embarrassed about to worry about the invalid reasons. My kid ate almost nothing but candy today. I can only walk through my bedroom if I stay along the straight and narrow path between all the papers and laundry and the luggage left over from the last trip I went on. My kid played a whole Bach minuet with weird three inch paper claw things on his fingers and a big black cape on. I sang Phantom of the Opera songs with him after that, very loudly. The windows were wide open, and it was nice out, so lots of neighbors probably heard me. I also ate very little other than candy today.
All actual valid reasons to be embarrassed, right?