Monday, March 12, 2007


I have just spent a very enjoyable evening with a man, drinking tea and explaining our spiritual beliefs to one another. They are very different. I think a continuing friendship with him would be interesting and helpful.

He has just left and I have sent him this email for him to read when he gets home:

So, now you have a choice to make.

You have to choose whether or not you'll continue seeing me as one of the flock.

You have to choose whether or not you think my doctrine is inferior.

You have to choose whether or not you want to change me.

You have to choose whether or not you'll treat me as an equal child of God, holy and dearly loved.

You have to choose whether my brokenness that causes my defensiveness is something to be admired or pitied.

And act accordingly.

I certainly have hopes for what you'll choose but I've been through this too many times before to stick around if your behavior shows that you've chosen otherwise. I don't need more of that hurt. I do need friends that will take my vulnerability and match it with their own, leaving behind patronizing smugness and replacing it with the simple and open love of people who understand deeply that they are probably wrong about most of it anyway. Without that, I will make God in my own image, instead of recognizing the image that I can see reflected in the people that surround me.

I know it may seem harsh but it's done out of the quiet of my heart. I have no interest in the self-denial of those whose rigorous faith is simply an extension of their low self-esteem. Women are often accused of simply expecting a man to know what she wants and then punishing him when she doesn't get it. This is a way to help him know where my boundaries are.

Eventually we begin to wonder what's wrong with the woman when she keeps dating men that beat her. I don't want to be that woman in my spiritual relationships. I've been beaten up enough by Christians that need to be right about God. If that's where this is going to go, I want to bail out early.

But there is a good chance he'll be a fantastic friend.

And I don't want to miss that.

1 comment:

PrincessMax said...

The update is that as of Saturday afternoon, 5 days later, I have heard nothing at all from the young man.

I'm sorry if I offended him but I had to protect me if we were going to create a friendship. I'm not interested in dating him because one of the differences in our doctrine is that he started a church a year and a half ago that doesn't ordain women. Misogyny is never a good foundation to start a romance on. But a friendship in which we could debate theology and such at the intellectual level that we had on Monday night would have been fun as long as it was respectful.

Oh well, an inability even to respond probably signifies some other characteristic that would also have ultimately been incompatible.