It would be an easy post to write, should it be all over my delight that Starbucks Christmas has again come around and I can indulge in gingerbread lattes once more, however a casual catch up with a friend wound up quite differently.
Sam and I were scheduled to catch up this morning at the local shopping centre’s Starbucks. We managed to catch up, but not before we’d run in to Kerryn – a girl we both did YITS with and have since lost some contact. I have in the past described Kerryn as: exuberant, wacky and encouraging, inclusive of that, she is quite a remarkable girl with very few inhibitions who lives Christianity more bravely than most.
With Kerryn was Art, a 30 something guy whom she’d met through work. So we sat down with our drinks *key happy noise for gingerbread latte here* for a brief catch up/chat.
Suddenly the conversation flips on it’s small talk head and Art throws forward a question about religion. The question was answered badly and then tangented and I was like ‘oooh’ (in my head) ‘I don’t think we should let that one get away’.
And it came back.
And I was like, ‘Oh what the heck, why not try’.
What followed was a pretty intense conversation about what we/I (I’ll go with I, because I wound up doing most of the talking with Sam and Kerryn adding a few comments here and there) believe and who is God and what is God and this and that and oh my freaking goodness xyz and it was all wound up in philosophy and the problem with humankind and….
The problem was, was that at the beginning of the conversation he gave me zero clues to what he knew about God and Jesus so I had nothing to go on and I really did a crapshit job at explaining anything basic well. Sam later described it as as ‘Jesus waiting patiently for the disciples to stop furfing around before he spoke’. Anyway, Art slowly let more of his ideas out of the bag and suddenly I was facing this guy who was reasonably intelligent, 10 odd years older than me, had clearly thought a lot of this God stuff through, didn’t think much of religion and had plenty of questions, some of them a bit tainted by human limitation and really eager to hear thoughts and also to challenge inability to understand.
I think I was buzzing more with trepidation and the clumsiness of my explanations and ideas, than the fact that oh my goodness, here I am having my first candid and good but somewhat difficult conversation with an adult who is interested in this God stuff. Sad but true. I don’t tend to ever open up myself to those situations.
Anyway. We threw things back and forth and I think/hope I managed to convey what I thought clearly (give me a blog or paper any day over talking to someone!). I came away feeling extremely challenged to work out how to learn how articulate what I believe better.
He thanked me at the end of it for persisting, giving him some things to think about and being willing to chat.
It was kind of crazy. It was astonishing but it kind of scared me. I still can’t believe it.