So lately I've been engaged on my own little speaking tour, where I'm going out of my way to connect with people I haven't really talked to in awhile. Most of these people are friends/co-workers I've not much talked to over the last few years since I've been dealing with my depression.
Now that I'm feeling in a more stable place, I've just been letting people know that I still love them (even if they don't see/hear from me). Not like I expect people to think I don't love them if I'm not physically around (hello, I'm an introvert!!) but I do like to remind people that I'm thinking about them despite the fact that I may be holed up in my condo unable to interact with other humans half the time.
And what exactly is the content of this speaking tour of mine?
Mostly it is me telling my story of how God has saved me. Yes, very exciting stuff for people to hear coming out of my mouth, seeing as no one really expected to ever hear those words come out of my mouth...like EVER.
And through all my sharing, I've noticed a similar trajectory in the response given back to me from my non-believer friends:
1. Shock/disbelief - one person asked me if there was a hidden camera somewhere when I told them
2. Need for clarity - usually i have to confirm that I am in fact talking about the God/Jesus Christ that I have been historically known for dismissing as irrelevant to my super charmed life
3. Loop to step 1 and 2 for a seemingly infinite amount of time
4. Acceptance of my story (they believe that I believe that God saved my life)
5. Provide a variety of arguments to me as to why they can't possibly believe in God/Jesus
Just to be clear, I have no issue with this interaction because it is precisely how I would have reacted 5 years ago if one of my friends told me my story. Only I'm pretty sure my non-believer friends reacted to me in a far less judgemental way than I would have reacted (#justsaying I was a bit of a jerk back then).
I actually really enjoy telling non-believers my story because I love hearing the rationale of why they can't believe. I get to study their thinking and find fun arguments for their beliefs.
My favourite right now is asking people "why is it so hard to believe that there is a God and you are capable of receiving unconditional love from God?"
Usually the response is something to do with bad things happen therefore God cannot exist, a Bible that is inaccurate because people have written it, and/or they do get love from humans so they don't need God.
Truth: bad things happen and that has nothing to do with the existence of God but more about humans doing mean things to each other
Truth: people interpret things through their own lens so even if you are reading a super hilarious blog post (or The Bible) there are some people out there who will find it utterly offensive they will have you voted off the island or they will read said blog post and form a cult in your name and from that day forward your name will be synonymous with evil dictator.
Truth: humans cannot give you unconditional love, to give unconditional love means there is no opportunity for them not to provide you unconditional love, which is impossible to achieve for a human because they will abandon you, likely because they have died before you.
So what does this all mean? Well I think it is pretty clear there is one super truth here (yeah I said super truth!) and that is "humans kind of fuck shit up, like all the time".
So I can discount God's presence/love because humans suck or I can believe that there is a God that loves me unconditionally because humans suck.
And I'm going to go with the latter because that is the belief that we get unconditional love regardless if humans suck. I mean if humans are going to suck anyway why would I go with the more negative of the two options?! More interesting to me is that we (humans) find it so hard to believe that we could be given unconditional love by something greater than ourselves. Seriously though, if given the choice why would we choose the option of receiving no love?!
That's kind of messed up. And for the majority of my life that was my messed up thinking. But not anymore. Nope, now this means if you do decide to hang out with me, you will have to hear about how I chose love. I'm done with anger. And if this change is fueled by my relationship with God, why is it so hard to believe that I wouldn't share that love with others?