Spies and Undercover Christians
By Lisa Karon Richardson
It will come as no surprise to regular readers, but as far back as I can remember I’ve had a thing for spies. From the Scarlet Pimpernel to 007, to me they are dashing men (and women) of mystery. Even as I write this an old episode of Mission Impossible is playing in the background. I know that such portrayals are highly romanticized and as far removed from reality as the fruitcake who thinks he’s Napoleon Bonaparte, but I can’t seem to help myself. My imagination has been captured.
Spies even have a role in the Bible. Rotten intelligence from ten spies kept Israel out of the promised land for a generation. When they finally made it, they got as far as Jericho and sent spies in to scope out the joint. The poor fellows nearly bought it when they were identified and had to take refuge in the house of a harlot. Of course, that story is a bit like a novel in that one of the spies fell in love with the woman who saved his life and after the battle they married and lived (apparently) happily ever after.
Enamored though I am, I think I’m tired of trying to be a spy. In the past I’ve spent a large part of my time observing the behavior of the people around me and reporting back to God.
It’s not that I denied my Christianity. People know. I just don’t talk about it much. I let it kind of stay under the table. But being an undercover Christian isn’t doing me, or the world, an iota of good.
I’m not advocating an aggressive, in-your-face brand of Christianity, but when acquaintances at work are going through a tough time, I want them to seek me out as a source of comfort. Maybe they ask for prayer. Better yet, maybe I offer to pray with them then and there.
I need to have more boldness in my salvation, not keep quiet when I see someone hurting. Not hesitate to offer hope, when I see someone floundering. Not freeze in the face of ridicule.
Have you been operating undercover lately?
Influenced by books like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, LISA KARON RICHARDSON’S early stories were heavy on boarding schools and creepy houses. Now, even though she’s (mostly) grown-up she still loves a healthy dash of adventure in any story she creates, even her real-life story. She’s been a missionary to the Seychelles and Gabon and now that she and her husband are back in America, they are tackling a new adventure, starting a daughter-work church in a new city. Vanishing Act, the second in the Charm and Deceit, series co-authored with Jennifer AlLee, is coming September 2013. She also has a novella coming out September, 2013 from Barbour entitled “Midnight Clear,” part of the Mistletoe Memories collection.