Godly Chameleons

Eileen stared at her reflection in the mirror as she put her silver hoop earrings on. Glancing at the silver cross pendant that her friend Doreen had given her for Christmas, her hands reached over and picked out a delicate pearl necklace instead. The cross pendant was pretty and would have worked well with her outfit, but the symbol of the cross deterred her. She had a big meeting today with all the directors and she did not want to seem like a 'holy roller’, especially at work.

Yet the cross was a symbol of the price paid for her redemption, a symbol of the grace that enabled her faith in God and Jesus Christ. God was the center of her existence, her anchor, the air that she breathed and the substance of her life. To her, there was no life in an existence devoid of the essence of God.


Life had not always been this grounded for Eileen. She had walked away from her childhood faith to ‘make it big on her own’. God had too many rules. But a pattern of serial heartbreaks, strained relationships, financial crises and fizzled dreams caused her to run back into His loving embrace.  It had been very difficult attempting to go the journey alone. She had literally drowned under the dysfunction of the world she had created.  Painful as they were, these experiences created within her a tenacity to recognize that although she had tried to be without God, He had never left her.


Today, her pretty reflection bore no semblance to the days past when she was entrenched in despair, for she had returned to the elements of promises she had learnt about in Sunday school. As the years passed, she learned to confront the challenges of life with prayers and a quiet trust; they sustained her and lit a path to her redemption. Knowing that her faith was the quintessence of her being, how could she conceal it for the sake of conformity and groupthink? Of all the modern religions, perhaps none appears to be as judged as the Christian faith. Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists unashamedly and unapologetically display their religions as part of their self definition without need of acquiescence. Yet, the Christ believer feels the need to leave their true identities at home in order to fit an ‘acceptable unspoken standard’. It is ironic to note the number of Christ followers who shroud themselves in order to blend adequately with work place ideals. The subject of faith is never up for discussion; in fact, it seems like taboo.  They tread silently with their beliefs  securely tucked away like classified information.


On Ash Wednesday, quite a few Catholics paraded with ashes smudged across their foreheads. The pretty cross may have been easier on the eye.  With much zeal, Thursday became cross day for Eileen, She placed the symbol of her faith on her chest for it to shine brightly for the world to see. But more intense was the light of God’s love that radiated from deep within her, touching her world and giving it permission to return that love.


Written By Amira Faress

Leave a comment »

  1. Hey Amma, good article but Muslims get a lot of discrimination and harrassment.

  2. I have to agree with Sujit; it’s more ‘ok’ to be a Christian than a Muslim. More Muslims these days have to play down on their ‘muslimness’ in order to avoid being labelled ‘extremist’. And guess what? Christians are the ones who display prejudices the most. Too many of us christians look down on other beliefs; sad but true

Leave Comment