Thursday, November 06, 2003


I see a lot of ICTHUS symbols on cars. They're everywhere. Little metallic ones, or sometimes decals. Passing declarations of Christianity.

I don't have one.

I always knew the fish symbol represented a Christian, but it wasn't really until I started teaching Sunday school to children that I even understood the history behind it. In all honesty that's why I became a Sunday school teacher. I grew up unchurched, I figured if I taught kids, I could learn too.

I adore the origins of this simple symbol and my imagination runs wild about how it was used long ago. Upon meeting someone on the road, early Christians - often fearing persecution and perhaps not even speaking the same language - would draw out half of the ICTHUS symbol in the dirt. If the person they encountered completed the drawing they knew they were with a brother or sister in Christ.

This had to be a wondrous instant sense of relief. Complete strangers immediately put at ease. A blazing flash of trust. Bonded to each other by God right where they stood. No questions asked.

When I learned about the origins of ICTHUS I knew I couldn't put a metallic fish on my car.

What I really want is this:

A half ICTHUS.

I don't want to be a drive-by Christian.

I crave the engagement of those times of old. Two strangers suddenly fused in faith, casting their theologies aside and knowing that despite many differences, what is truly important is that we are on the same path. A path etched upon common ground.

Unshakeable...solid...Holy ground.

Really does anything more need to be said?

Psalm 25:4

Show me your ways, O Lord , teach me your paths