“It took me a long time to figure out what that meant,” he said.
I was standing in line a few days ago in the local grocery when a young millennial behind me made a comment that at first I didn’t understand until I realized he was talking about my T-shirt. I had to look down at my chest to even know what T-shirt I was wearing that day. It was a T-shirt with the logo representing a surf clothing company based in the little Hawaiian village of Haleiwa near where my daughter lives and works. The company is owned by a group of believers and the logo is the clever “HE>i” which means “He (God) must increase and I must decrease” from the statement by John the Baptist in John 3:30. The logo simply says, “He is greater than me.”
Before I could even respond, the man behind me then volunteered a good deal of information about himself that surprised me. He was a missionary’s kid from a pentecostal background who used to believe but now he wasn’t sure — as if he was growing out of his childhood beliefs. I suddenly knew a lot about this person even without opening my mouth.
“So what do you think of God now?” I finally managed to get a word in.
“I fight with Him a lot,” he said, as I was punching in my debit card.
“Well Good,” I said with a smile. “That’s better than believing He doesn’t exist. He can handle a good fight.” By then I had signed out and had two sacks of groceries in my hands. He was launching into a few of the reasons he was struggling with God, having less to do with God than with His followers, which is so often the case. Reaching for some kind of closure, I interrupted his list of objections by saying with an air of finality, “You know, it’s all about grace.”
As soon as I said this, his face lit up and he said with great relief, “Thank you!”