Monday, August 11, 2008

"Jesus-Fire"

One of the most emotionally difficult and time-consuming activities in my life is explaining my present convictions to old friends who are Evangelical Christians. Certainly what I believe now about God, the Bible, and specifically relationships and orientation is very different from what I once believed. So when an old friend contacts me, there is a huge chasm to bridge.

An Evangelical friend of mine from my undergraduate days contacted me on Facebook over the weekend. Upon learning that I am now married to a man, he sent me the following message:
I want you to know that I love you and that it's never too late and there's nothing the Jesus-fire can't do. Don't let the devil get the best of you man! The devil is a liar and wants to make us think there's no hope for us, but it's not true. We should keep in touch and lift each other up in prayer.
Reading this message makes me feel sad and exhausted. Why exhausted? Well, I know what's coming: a lot of time on email or the phone explaining how I got from point A to point B in my thinking and how I don't believe that point B is against Jesus or involves the "devil getting the best of me" or anything like that. But numerous similar experiences lead me to expect it will not end well. My friend and I will probably come to an impass and unhappily agree to disagree.

This process has almost always wound up rendering a once vibrant friendship a more-or-less distant acquaintance. I hate that. It makes me not want to "waste" any time explaining myself and my evolution over the past few years since we were last in contact. But this guy was a great friend, and he deserves my time and care explaining to him. Time spent attempting to bridge the gap between us will not be "wasted;" No, he's worth my efforts. Unfortunately, I doubt it will prevent us going from friends to acquaintances.

Well, regardless of the outcome, here I go again. I hope for a better outcome this time...

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