It seems like I am seeing an increasing number of cars these days with religious emblems or bumper stickers on them. You know what I am talking about. The fish symbol. The various witty sayings. The blunt sayings. The "in case of rapture, this car will be empty" stickers. I don't have a problem with any of those and in fact it's great that we live in a country where we can so publicly profess our faith.
Sometimes I wonder, though, about the intent and thought behind such symbols and stickers. Are we thinking that, because we have an ichthus symbol on our car, we have done our evangelism for the day, the week, the year, or our life? Do we really think someone will see our sticker about the rapture and think "Wow, I don't want to miss that. I'd better accept Christ today."
Those thoughts are, of course, rather ludicrous and surely no one truly has them when they peel the release paper from that emblem or sticker and press it to the back of their $30,000 vehicle.
I wear a cap much of the time when I am out in public. It has a silhouette of Christ carrying the cross on it, along with the words "Follow the Leader." Do I really think it's going to prompt someone to ask me about my faith? Hey, that's a nice thought but, no, I don't think that is likely to happen. I do get some favorable comments on it from time to time but those are always from current believers. No one has yet come up to me and said "Hi there, I'm a heathen but I really like your cap. Tell me more about that." :-)
So, why do I wear it? The answer is simple. It reminds me of whose I am, and how I am supposed to behave. It reminds me of my responsibility to walk the Christian walk and live out the principles of love, grace, and compassion at all times. For me, at this stage of my faith journey, that's important. It is still easy for me to lapse back into old ways, old thought processes, and focus on my "self" rather than others. My cap reminds me otherwise.
It reminds me that, amongst the people whose paths I cross today, I may represent the only opportunity they will have to see Jesus. It reminds me, too, that when I look at others, I want to see the Jesus of a hurting and hungry world that is crying out for the face of a Jesus of mercy, goodness, lovingkindness, love, grace and compassion.
So, until I probably lose it in an airport or someplace, I will keep wearing my cap ... as a reminder to myself ... not to those I encounter.