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that quote that bugs me from Penn Jillette because he’s not wrong about it either.

I think I already mentioned that laminin is going to be difficult to finish before it’s due. That said, I think most of it should make enough sense and enough of a point to say that it’s finished enough. I’m not planning to rush to finish this though, so I’ll continue working on it probably for some time after this even.

I think the only major hiccup I have for that is publishing my piece from Twine so it has a live link. I tried using the link my browser gives me when I click “test from here,” but if I open it on any other browser or device, it doesn’t work. It will simply lead users to create something on Twine themselves. I’ll probably figure this out by asking one of my swimmers after practice tonight, but if anyone has suggestions on how to do that, I’d really appreciate it.

Other than that, there are still so many testimonies that I’m prepared to add to this, and so much more from the Bible to add too (as that really is meant to be the center of the piece anyway). And I know there may be people that read those Bible passages and might not get it, or maybe some will roll their eyes because they’ve been hurt by Christians. I get that. I used to do the same thing, and I know a few people in my life right now that continue to do that too. But here’s the thing– it bothered me when I first heard this quote, and it bothers me now even more that I do believe:

I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

“I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.

Penn Jillette (from Penn & Teller)

While I have no intention of shoving my beliefs down someone’s throat (which is how most people get hurt by the Church), I wouldn’t be loving people if I didn’t at least tell them about the God I know to be real, true, loving, just, merciful, faithful, and kind, among many other things. Is it awkward sometimes? Yes. But in a world where everything is broken in its own way, having the One thing that keeps us whole is going to be uncomfortable, it’s going to make you stand out, and it’s going to hurt sometimes. But He still holds us together. I mean that’s the whole point behind this piece and that’s why I’m in no rush to get it 100% finished (and just to finish it well enough to hand in).

That’s also why I named this piece laminin. I wouldn’t doubt there have been times in other people’s lives, as there have been in mine, where it felt like God was allowing everything to fall apart. And maybe on the surface He was– though He doesn’t cause things to fall apart (that’s just what the broken nature of this world does), He allows it for a bigger purpose than we often might see. But deep down, He was still holding us together through those times. How?

Laminin is a glycoprotein that essentially holds the cells of our bodies together. Is it a coincidence that it’s in the shape of a cross? Is it a coincidence that the cross, as Rome had ‘perfected’ it until Constantine I abolished its use, used to be a symbol of the most excruciating, humiliating, shameful, and gruesome deaths that one could experience? Is it a coincidence that this symbol now also represents new life to how many millions of people around the world, that it’s a symbol of life so strong that many of those people are continuously being persecuted to the point of death?

And I want to bring that back to the point I made with that quote from Penn Jillette for just a moment. It’s not as common (though also not completely unheard of) in America that Christians are persecuted to such a point. While I’ve seen and heard such threats, Pastor Russell Johnson at the Pursuit NW being one of them, I’m also hearing much more from even people within my own church that are afraid to make things awkward or to lose friends due to sharing their faith. But first off, are they really your friend if they don’t hear you out and still love you as a human being, even if your beliefs are a bit different? Also, were you really their friend if you don’t love them enough to care about their eternity? And finally, if God isn’t enough for you, then what is? God is the one and only thing that will never fail or break or forsake you, so if He isn’t enough… what is?

And that’s the other point I’m starting to build on within this piece– Christians should be bold. There is no greater love we can give than to lovingly share the Gospel and spread the good news of God. I’m hoping this will be an encouragement to people in the faith that are scared to be bold because I get it. My social anxiety has been crippling at times. My trauma and certain triggers have forced me out of otherwise fun things or things where God was moving. But God. Do I still feel the anxiety or get bothered by certain triggers and stuff? Yes. That doesn’t usually just disappear. God can, but I’ve found that my anxiety has been that thorn in my side, as Paul wrote somewhere in the New Testament, that reminds me to rely on Him when I need it most. And when I do rely on Him more, it gets easier to move through, even if the circumstances don’t necessarily change. I don’t have to retreat from social or triggering situations because there’s no safer place than where God calls you to be. And I’m hoping that laminin will be that encouragement to Christians too.

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