Thursday, June 14, 2012

holy rolling hell

What do you do when your friend finds God, and his God isn't the one that you know about?  I have been close with my friend, A, since undergrad.  What originally began as a mutual attraction grew into a close friendship once we realized that we might be too different to work out as a couple.  At the time our differences consisted of his small town roots and my international rootlessness.  He wanted to settle down in South Texas with a brood of children and I wanted to be a rolling stone.  He remained in South Texas and I moved to New York for grad school.  He visited me everywhere I went.  He was my date for my best friend's wedding; I wasn't so sure that I was going to keep my boyfriend but I was sure that A would be my friend forever.

A couple of months after my graduation he ran into problems.  He was arrested for driving drunk and discovered that his fiance had a little bit too much fun at her hen party.  He went through a lot all at once.  At some point he began attending one of those mega-churches.  I wasn't against it because it seemed to ground him and give him peace.  He was able to evaluate his life and make changes in his behavior that needed to be made.  He became more responsible, more mature.  Once in a while he shared beliefs from his church that made me nervous.  We talked about our differing opinions and agreed to disagree.  Now, five years later, I don't recognize my friend.  He is "righteous" and has lost the good humor that used to flow so easily from him.  He is stern when he was easy going and judgmental when he was open minded.  Sometimes I worry about saying things that will cause him to cut me out of his life and sometimes I want to just tell the truth about how I feel and get it over with.  I've been through this before with some of my family: the joyful rediscovery of God followed by righteousness and rules and finally the condemnation of nonbelievers.  It's funny how others can't just be happy with their own salvation but have to take the extra step of letting the rest of us know that we are going to hell.  I think that one of my most beautiful friendships is going to hell and it breaks my heart.

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