It wasn’t because of anything she said or did.
It was because of the Ichthys symbol (or more commonly known as the Jesus fish) on the back of her car.
(Yes, in this case, the license plate also makes a clear statement)
I’ve seen the fish on the back of cars my entire life.
Ichthys is a greek acronym for Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter ( Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.)
According to transition, Christians used the symbol as a form of protection during persecution by the Roman Empire.
A believer would draw the upper half of the fish in the ground. A second believer would then complete the symbol by drawing the bottom half.
This practice would separate friends from foes.
Today, the fish generally represents a practicing Christian and can be seen not only on automobiles, but also on business cards, clothing, jewelry, etc (not to mention web sites like this one).
But what is the case for the symbol on automobiles?
To be honest, I’ve never displayed the fish on my car.
One reason is because I didn’t know what message I would be sending when I accidentally cut someone off in traffic while proudly bearing the Jesus fish on my bumper.
Whenever I do see a Jesus fish on an automobile, three sets of questions come to mind:
1. As I believer, am I supposed to display the fish too?
(In other words, did I miss the church memo?)
2. Has the driver had a born again experience I haven’t?
(And is he experiencing a different type of relationship with Jesus than I am?)
3. What is the driver’s underlying purpose for displaying the fish?
(Is it to say… I can be trusted if you’re stranded on the side of the road. Or is it… Roll down your window and ask me about Jesus)
Yesterday, I noticed another car while at a street light.
The passenger left his Blackberry smart phone on the roof of the car.
I jumped out of my car, retrieved the phone, and handed it to the surprised passenger.
I rushed back to my car moments before the light turned green.
I know at least two other drivers witnessed my Blackberry rescue.
The other people at the light may never know if I’m a Christian or not by this simple deed.
And that’s not something I need to worry about.
And you don’t need to either.
Continue to do the simple yet gracious things every day as expressions of love for others.
You don’t need a bumper sticker for that.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Do you display the Jesus fish on the back of your car? Why or not?
What are your thoughts when you see it displayed on other vehicles?
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