Sunday, February 18, 2007

paradoxal owl

We sat in the long white and red checkered covered table, eating our pulled pork and baked potato when I decided to tell her about the young woman I'd just met. A new friend, with whom I stayed in a graduate students' house with and who, like me, had read the same book about these graduate schools, who, like me, had prepared a list of questions and tried to be over prepared to make ourselves feel less nervous. A new friend, who listens to Christian music, has introduced her agnostic friends to Christ her Savior, who will be a virgin until marriage, who went to Rice, played saxophone in the mob, and was invited to interview with 11 graduate programs. A new friend who is a lesbian, who has a male identity, loves her girlfriend the young artist who makes a mess out of her apartment, and who wants to study transgendered individuals.

As we drank our tea, I didn't tell this old friend all these things about this new friend. I told her just enough. Then I told her about the professor studying the religiousity of the GLBT population, who had found that many Christian homosexuals aren't just liberal Christians, but identify with conservative, evangelical denominations. With other friends, I would have anticipated their reaction. With this old friend, I had no idea what to expect. Part of me wanted some kind of reaction, but didn't ask, "What do you think about her?" She just asked where the study was done, and mused, "Hmm," then continued with her baked potato and the conversation moved on.

Why did I tell her? Did I want a reaction? I just wanted her to think. I wanted to show her that the world God has created isn't as black and white as we think it is. Was that it? Did I just want to enlighten her? Perhaps my motives were more selfish. Maybe I wanted to stir things up, confuse her a little, present her with this paradoxal individual who's lifestyle and morals go against all that we have been taught about "us" and "them." I wanted her to be thrown off. Maybe a small part of me wanted her to wonder and question too. Am I envious of her? There she sat across from me, with her almost empty potato skin, so confident and secure in her beliefs. Everything was understandable. God will give us all wisdom. God does give wisdom, but does he want us to comprehend everything? Does he want us to have the same knowledge that he has?

Whatever my motives, pure or not, I am thankful for old friends, new friends, new questions, new perspectives, and the same God who rules them all.


Martha Elaine Belden said...

great post, as always.

all you can do is love both friends, look to the Word for guidance and (again) love your friends.

you're a beautiful person, miss kelly. i'm thankful you're in my life.

if walled in climb up said...

Hm, good post. I'm having trouble commenting on it because it touches on so many things that have been issues and concerns to me lately. Maybe we could chat about this one.

Hope your visit went well! I'm really glad you're making all kinds of different friends, in fact, I'm a little jealous. :o) I don't think it's too healthy to always stick with the same kinds of friends.

Cara said...

kelly, this is a great post. i've been thinking a lot about continuing my research on gay grandparents for my honors research project, and i think i just might do that. can't wait to see you tomorrow. just give me a call.

if walled in climb up said...

Oh no, I never felt that way about you asking the church question! I knew you asked from a kind heart. Thank you for being there for me. Please don't ever feel afraid again to ask the "real" questions. You and I go deeper than those superficial ones. You are one of my best and most dear friends, almost like a part of my family. It's been so wonderful to have your friendship, Kelly. I wish I could tell or show you just how much it has meant to me, especially lately. I wish we lived closer to each other. You are one of the most genuine, caring, loving people I have ever encountered. There should be so many more people like you. I love you.