I had lunch with a non believer friend of mine yesterday. We are actually still getting to know each other. I fell in love with her the first time we met. Yesterday was our first date, so to speak. We talked about a lot of things, and nothing was off limits. I love that. And there was no judgement, but we don't agree about everything. I love seeing the other side of topics I feel very strongly about. It helps me get over my judgey self.
The topic of religion came up. I'm glad it did because it gave us the opportunity to establish a foundation for healthy future conversations. She let me know how she felt about Christianity in general and where she stood. It gave me the opportunity to show her the same for me. And what's really cool is that we agree about the terrible stereotypical crappy Christian. You know, the hypocrites who look down on others or preach lies. I got the chance to tell her that I don't like them either. I got to tell her that I struggled when I was first saved. I was scared that being a Christian meant being judgey, nosey, gossipy, bossy. Some of my closest friends are gay (a term I will use for any of the other words that describe something other than one man one woman) and, although I want to be obedient, I didn't want to hurt them. Fred Phelps and his drama of hate rose in my mind and I actually wondered if I was going to have to put my loves on the "other side" away from me. It plagued me. My dearest friend is gay and so are many of the key players in my life. And the truth is: LOVE GOD LOVE PEOPLE. Period. Not love them if they are like you, are straight, or believe the same as you or pay their taxes or help little old ladies across the street. Love them with the same love, forgiveness, compassion and patience that we receive from our Creator. I wouldn't be alive at all if God judged and punished me the same way I judge and punish others.
The conversation was a fabulous reminder of where I have been. I also got to be a better Christian than the ones who misbehave and give us all a bad name. I got to challenge that negative stereotype. I got to move the first grain of sand in that mountain (with his help).