He is greater than me


“It took me a long time to figure out what that meant,” he said.

I was standing in line a few days ago in the local grocery when a young millennial behind me made a comment that at first I didn’t understand until I realized he was talking about my T-shirt. I had to look down at my chest to even know what T-shirt I was wearing that day. It was a T-shirt with the logo representing a surf clothing company based in the little Hawaiian village of Haleiwa near where my daughter lives and works. The company is owned by a group of believers and the logo is the clever “HE>i” which means “He (God) must increase and I must decrease” from the statement by John the Baptist in John 3:30. The logo simply says, “He is greater than me.” 

Before I could even respond, the man behind me then volunteered a good deal of information about himself that surprised me. He was a missionary’s kid from a pentecostal background who used to believe but now he wasn’t sure — as if he was growing out of his childhood beliefs. I suddenly knew a lot about this person even without opening my mouth. 

“So what do you think of God now?” I finally managed to get a word in. 

“I fight with Him a lot,” he said, as I was punching in my debit card. 

“Well Good,” I said with a smile. “That’s better than believing He doesn’t exist. He can handle a good fight.” By then I had signed out and had two sacks of groceries in my hands. He was launching into a few of the reasons he was struggling with God, having less to do with God than with His followers, which is so often the case. Reaching for some kind of closure, I interrupted his list of objections by saying with an air of finality, “You know, it’s all about grace.”

As soon as I said this, his face lit up and he said with great relief, “Thank you!”

This entry was posted in Meaning of life, Millennials and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to He is greater than me

  1. Toni Petrella says:

    So true about grace and sounds like you said it all. So true about the fight because that shows the person strongly believes just having some issues which at times we all do. Thanks for sharing that
    story. We never know who we might just inspire out there in the world even at times when so much is happening. Faith and Grace is always the key to hang on to no matter what.

  2. paul sonkowsky says:

    Yes, His followers (us!) can be a real turn-off sometimes. And grace is key to the “equation”.

  3. Well…yes but….

    Definitely start with grace and end with grace but mixing truth is optimal. You know, an Oreo. I was way to much truth for way too long. People are mostly immune to truth without a healthy dose of grace. Jesus was not a balance of truth and grace but fully truth and fully grace. I’d gladly settle for a good balance.

    • jwfisch says:

      So the Oreo is fully cookie and fully icing? Not blended. It gets blended when we chew it up. That’s where all those good flavors come from. Jesus is full of grace and truth.

  4. Welcome home John & Marti.

  5. John A Fagliano says:

    One shirt, one question, and a small handful of sentences made a strangers day brighter. We should always remember God can do things like that.

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