Last Friday, I saw that I had a message in my inbox on Facebook. It was from a good friend of mine who has been, for as long as I've known her, a Unitarian Universalist. She spent last year teaching in Taiwan, and since she's returned we've only had a couple chances to reconnect. About a month ago, we talked about our faith backgrounds, and it was one of the few times I've actually shared my deepest beliefs with her.
Her message contained a link to a Shane Claiborne article written for Esquire Magazine titled "What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff?" Claiborne starts the article off with an apology to his "nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends" on behalf of Christians. From there, he goes on to talk about how unloving Christians can be sometimes--and almost every single time it is in the name of our Lord and Saviour. And that can hurt people to the core.
But it's in Claiborne's last paragraph that I understand why my friend sent the article to me. Since I cannot sum it up, I present it to you in its entirety:
In closing, to those who have closed the door on religion — I was recently asked by a non-Christian friend if I thought he was going to hell. I said, "I hope not. It will be hard to enjoy heaven without you." If those of us who believe in God do not believe God's grace is big enough to save the whole world... well, we should at least pray that it is.
This final paragraph is why my friend sent me the Facebook message. In her message was the quote, "It will be hard to enjoy heaven without you" and a link to the article. It was like she understood that Claiborne's last paragraph is my sentiment towards her. She has been a great friend to me over the last 10 years. I would be a very different person without her friendship, and for her to understand my faith better than many Christians makes me a very happy person and a very blessed friend.
To check out Shane Claiborne's article, click here.
Ian David Philpot, a Relief intern, is studying English at Northern Illinois University and spent one year in Columbia College Chicago's Fiction Writing program. He writes fiction and poetry and music. Ian prefers black to white, vanilla to chocolate, and only eats yellow cake.