by Glenn M Miller
Now, to be honest, I am not sure I fault them for this…I think it MIGHT be a general cultural stereotype or something. I remember thinking the same basic thing, even as I became a Christian back in college…
(visualize, if you will…a fuzzy flashback scene inserted here:
It was a chilly night, in more ways than one…that Wed. before Thanksgiving break. I was at the end of the most torturous date of my life. It was a double date, me the driver, and my skeptical buddy in the back. Everything had been abysmal. We picked our dates up later than usual for the fraternity party, for they were attending a Christian meeting of some type BEFORE the party (some famous traveling Christian ‘intellectual’ or sub-species thereof was speaking on the factuality of the resurrection or something). They were beaming with that ‘glow’ that I had already (even as a College Junior) learned to associate with fanaticism…I quickly lowered my expectations for how ‘wild’ a time I would have that night.
But I was a sensitive, non-combative type of fella, and anticipating that my sweet date (she really was a sweet-spirited and warm-hearted individual) would be ‘high on Jesus’ (and perhaps vocal about it), I asked my aggressively skeptical close-friend to kindly AVOID the subject of religion…in the interests of diplomacy. He agreed and promised not to pick a fight with them about the faith.
How fickle the fortunes of the fumbling! Upon picking the ladies up at the meeting, I politely asked my date in the front the distancing and closed-ended question ‘was your meeting good’ hoping to get a mild, low-volume ‘fine’ and maybe a few more non-incendiary syllables from her. But no…she was ‘on fire’…she talked about the speaker and the empty tomb and the converted skeptic and on…and on. And eventually (sorta like 120 seconds in) my diplomatic friend in the back piped up "Did I hear someone mention the name Jesus Christ?"…and the subtle, but sardonic fireworks began between the other three people in the car…
Me? I began shrinking into that black hole of despair and resigned quietness I had learned as a defense technique, carefully designed and built to keep a world clamoring for my responsibility, conviction, and passion..at arm’s length.
Well, the night got worse…my friend eventually got the conversation around to the prophecies of the Antichrist–a prophetic figure known to be brilliant, persuasive, aware–and I could imagine my self-confident friend in the back beginning to wonder if HE might be the Antichrist (oh, the optimism of college youthfulness)!
I guess the real issue that cut so deeply was the way she saw the sky so differently than I that night…a night charged with meaning and disclosive of patterns of love-communicating to us…for me, only stars that seemed as cold, as distant, and as pointless as I.
With this wasteland experience in my hand, we went to take our dates back to the dorm. At the door, the crowning blow was delivered…she handed me a religious pamphlet…"Jesus and the Intellectual"…I could not believe it…I stumbled back to the car, dropped my friend off, and wallowed around in the darkness of the soul for hours and hours…
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