Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Conversation with An Agnostic Dressed as a Beer Can



Most conversations about God happen in the dead of night, most often amidst points of inner apathy and impatience. I was hanging out with a close friend, ended up at his friend's house and decided to hang out by the car. His friend, whose name I cannot for the destiny of me remember, was dressed for halloween as a beer can. I kid you not.

It was around 1 in the morning. I was shivering outside, listening to Eminem. I don't know why I was, but it seemed important at the time. He came out and began to talk to me. As all conversations go, the topic switched from sex to God.

I don't remember much from the conversation, though it was both frank and without malice. He brought up reasons for doubting God's existence, I tried to answer, and it kept on going. I remember expressing doubts on some things as well, and that seemed to help him, though I can't give any specifics. 

A non-specific conversation about God. How often does that happen?

Anyway. Most of his friends were Christians and he asked if he could tell me something. I said sure. What he said next almost broke my heart. 

He was at a party, and he blatantly asked the Christians in the room if they had any good reasons for believing in God. They were either drunk or not interested. He then told me that if they had given him one reason to believe, he would've done so with his whole heart. He spoke as if each word were stuck in the center of his throat. I had and have no reason to doubt his conviction. 

That night, I hated Christians. 

I don't remember his name. I don't remember much about him, save for his costume. I remember that, if someone had given him an answer, he may have believed. Or he may not have. Who knows. I'm not certain that is my place to know.

What makes me sad is to know that there are honest people out there, searching for something. When we are given the chance to offer an opinion, we very easily do so with the force of a sledge hammer and forget we are dealing fragile people. 

I still think about him, and wish I had better answers. Or that I was a better listener. But I take comfort in hoping that he was heard. And I hope he and souls like him will be heard in the future. 

--Nick

2 comments:

  1. Reminds me of 1 Peter 3; if we'd only remember that we're called to build up the Lord in our own hearts, then we'd be prepared to give that answer.

    Instead, the church spends all its time fighting "culture wars."

    I want a beer suit.

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    1. I'm not even certain that giving the answer is all that important, but rather that we are willing to honestly listen. Of course, giving the answer is probably helpful, I guess. ;)

      Culture wars, yeah. This generation is, I think, not into that as much.

      I would go as Avery's "The Reverend." ;)

      --Nick

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