Friday, July 18, 2008

Free hugs from Christians

Hm, I had an interesting evening.

A new girl started at work about a month ago. She's super friendly, and we chat when we bump into each other at work. This evening, I bumped into her as I was heading out the door to catch the bus, and she offered to drive me home (she lives on Cap Hill, too). The drive took an hour and we chatted about all sorts of different things. As we were getting closer to my place, she asked what I was doing for the rest of the evening. I whined about how Jacque totally ditched me (I'm pretty sure Jacque won't read this, but just in case she does: "Humph!") and she said, "Well, at 7:30 we're having a little spiritual, Bible-study thing at the park. Do you wanna come?"

Now, I haven't been to church in months, and I haven't really "spent any time in the Word" as cheesy Christians say (i.e. Pops), in quite a while, either. I've mentioned to a few loved ones that I'm having a teensy bit of a crisis of faith at the mo'. While I consider myself a Christian, and I seek God's path for my life and want to spend my life serving Him by caring for the poor, the widows, and the orphans, I've become extremely cynical about most all things Christian. When Becky told me she interviewed at a Christian school and they opened the interview with a prayer, I cringed and scoffed. So I wasn't exactly jumping at the opportunity to attend a "spiritual, Bible-study thing" with an unspecified number of total strangers. My coworker, of course, knew nothing of my faith at all. I could have been a raging atheist, for all she knew. But of course, that never stopped a good, Word-spreading Christian before. So, because I can't say "no," and I felt totally put on the spot, I agreed.

And guess what? I didn't die of awkwardness. I wasn't kidnapped and forced to attend nightly Bible studies, or weekly services. They didn't even try to open or close the meeting with prayer; instead, we started off by throwing a frisbee around. There were only three total strangers to reckon with, so I didn't even feel intimidated. It was just a laid-back, half-hour long discussion of what it meant to live a full life. I even, dare I say it? enjoyed myself. At a Bible study! With strangers! Can you believe it? It was a nice evening, hanging out in the sun at the park.

But then one of the guys, whom I had only met an hour earlier, hugged me. I knew there was a reason I didn't trust Christians.

Perhaps I should start letting John hug me, so it'll come as less of a shock to the system when other people try to hug me. There you go, John: you have my permission to bring it on!


  1. Okay, I totally read that. And :-P I didn't ditch you! I'm very sorry that we couldn't have dinner tonight. I will have you over to dinner as soon as I possibly can. Now I'm going to go to bed feeling guilty... Thanks a lot, Karen!

    That sounds like a really nice evening. Other than that whole hugging thing... I would have been upset about that one, too.

  2. I love how John's hugs are going to be used as an immunization against other hugs.

    Karen, you fell for the classic "we're-just-all-nice-normal-people" trick. Christians excel at sucking you in with a harmless game of frisbee, or perhaps a little water-skiing on the lake. Then BAM! when you least expect it, they hit you on the head with a Bible, drag you to the trunk of their car, and kidnap you to what they euphemistically call "retreats," which are really hideouts in the woods where they force you to sing songs and agree with everything they say about homosexuals.

    What I have just said is 100% true. Word.