My first semester at the Colorado School of Mines, I decided I would use a poster in my office as one means of identifying myself as a follower of Jesus. Ann and I went to a Christian bookstore and opted for a large, eye-catching, colorful peace symbol with the pithy message, “If you want real peace, follow Jesus!”
Ann and I prayed on Monday morning at breakfast about this first step in my becoming a professing Christian Professor. I put this flashy poster on my bulletin board as soon as I arrived at work but soon took it down, overcome with my fear of what my colleagues might think if they came into my office. Ann was so disappointed when I shared with her that evening why I had received no comments on my poster that day. I also wished that I had gotten a poster that was more innocuous (and prudent!), maybe a beautiful waterfall with an obscure quotation about “living water,” something unrecognizable to my secular students and colleagues.
Tuesday was a repeat of Monday; the poster went up briefly and then came down before anyone saw it. I awkwardly told Ann that evening about what had transpired.
Wednesday morning I prayerfully promised God that the poster would go up and stay there as long as I was at CSM. One of my Unitarian colleagues dropped by my office mid-morning and could not help but notice this large, colorful poster. After glancing at it, he began to discuss with me the business he came to transact without any mention of the poster.
In time most of my students and all of my colleagues saw it. Some commented on it but most did not. While it did not start many conversations, it clearly identified me as a follower of Jesus for the eight years I was at CSM and sowed seeds in the hearts of some of my guests during my time at CSM. This was the second major faith barrier I had to overcome on my journey toward becoming a Christian Professor.