ImageThe other day, I looked at some information about a private school that described Christian faith as a ‘life-enhancing activity’ – alongside sport and other hobbies.

Something about that bothered me. I might sometimes feel that faith enhances my own life but it can also be persistently challenging.  It is nowhere near as containable as an extra-curricular activity.

I have in my mind those adverts for paint where people’s lives are transformed when they paint their rooms bright colours, like this one:

Coming to faith can feel like that: the joy, the fresh start, the beauty.   It is truly life- enhancing. But what happens when Jesus moves in to the neighbourhood?

Does he hand us a paintbrush and ask us to start painting too?  To move beyond our now brightly tinged lives and join the movement?  We might end up with aching arms and tired feet. It might feel dreary at times or even hopeless – but it’s worth it because we are caught up in something far more than life-enhancing:  but life itself, the source of living water, love defined.

A friend shared a video made by some Egyptian Christians that has been haunting me ever since.  Their church building was attacked and burnt down in 2013 and they made this powerful video of church members singing in its ruins.

In some ways their faith is the opposite of the paint advert. It doesn’t skirt around the suffering, their wounds, their hardships.  But in the midst of the physical rubble of their church and while still living in considerable unrest, they are able to say that they are trusting that God ‘prepares goodness’ for them and that they ‘come with a message of love/ peace and forgiveness to the whole world’.

Life-enhancing faith?  Much more powerful than that.