Behind The Lens: Eliana

Over the last week or so I ended up talking to a variety of people. There was a girl at Millennium park who I went up to, and she was visiting the city with her mom and grandma. I asked her what she believed about God, and she just started sharing the Gospel. She was talking about Jesus and salvation. She said she was a pastor’s kid and had a season where she ran away from the church, but then came back. It was really neat being able to talk to her and her mom and her grandma who are all believers, and how starting with her grandma being a believer, she passed that onto her daughter, and she passed it on to her daughter. And now this girl - even after she had run away from God for a season - she didn’t know that I was a believer, but she was very boldly proclaiming the Gospel and that was beautiful to see.

The same day, I went up to two girls who were friends and taking pictures with the city in the background. I started talking to them, and it was a very different conversation. They felt really judged by the church in their experience. They see Christians as a group of people that don’t accept others who aren’t like them, and who follow a very strict code of how you dress and how you act - very legalistic. So I got to hear what they believed and tried to encourage them that that’s not a picture of who God is. God values them; He doesn’t just see them as following certain rules or not.

So we had that conversation, and a few days later I sat down to transcribe the interview. Writing down their words made it set in that this is what these girls believe. Beyond just having the conversation and walking away, writing their own words from their perspective made me really sad for them. They are living without hope in God, without knowing they’re loved by Him.

So, looking back and thinking about conversations in the future, I would love to speak more truth into them about the Gospel, because it’s really sad when people don’t have an accurate picture of Him. They’ve just been fed lies from other people around them about who God is. I think that’s why it’s so important that we’re going out and listening to what people believe so they can learn who God really is – He’s not legalistic, and everything He does is out of love and has a purpose, and He sees every person and values them. I think this is a really neat way to show people that – that we really value them and we value who they are, which opens doors to speak real truth about the Gospel.