It’s funny how I’ve been avoiding all “Christian” events and situations that may force me into interacting with my Christian friends—or those I considered my brothers and sisters just a couple years ago. It’s funny how I’ve avoided interacting with God or even thinking about God for the last year or so… It’s funny how I want nothing to do with religion…
Yet, my thoughts can’t help but return to conversing with God (usually when I get into the car of a friend who doesn’t drive well). I can’t help but feel an immense loneliness and melancholy even when surrounded by literally hundreds of people I at one point called “friends.” I can’t help but yearn for that connection from experiencing God’s all-encompassing love (whether directly from God or from other people) that some part of me still remembers. I can’t help but want to be back in God’s arms.
…but I cannot.
I cannot bring myself to do so. Is it fear? Shame? Apathy? Bitterness? Weariness?
I just want one of my “Christian friends” to talk to me—to ask me how I’ve been doing and how my “walk with God” has been and why I haven’t been with God…and actually LISTEN and CARE. I want to know that they’re still thinking about me and praying for me—that I’m not just an afterthought that comes to them only when they catch a glimpse of me. Heck, they can drag me kicking and screaming (well, more like protesting) to church. I wouldn’t enjoy it, but I’d appreciate it. Just… Ask me. I may not give you a response—heck, I may not have a response, but trust me…the fact that you asked really, really lets me know I still have a community.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that those who do ask me stop after the first two question…if they even get to the second one. They just…become silent and awkward around me when they find out that I haven’t been calling myself a follower of Christ; yet, they can easily have such meaningful conversations with perceived “non-believers” and strangers. Is it now impossible for you to connect to me now that I’m not “in the fold”? Is it so much worse for me to have voluntarily chosen to “leave the fold” as opposed to some stranger having never known God? Must our interactions remain superficial? Please don’t treat me as if I were fragile glass or a ticking time bomb that will explode at the slightest mention of faith. Please don’t just slip looks of sorrow in my direction for having turned away from God. This, however, doesn’t mean that I want you do approach me just because you should. Don’t treat me as a duty. Don’t ask about my well-being only when you see me. If I am an afterthought to you, I’d rather remember our interactions as they used to be—with the closeness we used to have—than as what they have become.
I don’t know.