The last article I wrote talked about my freshman college roommate and her religion of Wicca, namely as it applies to the one being worshipped. I’m going to shift focus a little bit from the exact religion of Wicca to something that I don’t think can be tied to one religion. I’m a little nervous to write this article. You never know what’s going to catch flack on the internet, but hopefully I word everything appropriately.
My roommate identified herself as bisexual, and her upbringing was a combination of four different women, all of which she considered her “mothers.” The way she described it to me was as if one lesbian couple got married, had a child (via a donor), then split up and each found new partners, adding up to four mother figures in her life.
This put me in a position I never dreamed I’d be in. I never really expected to meet a bisexual Wiccan, much less live with one for nine months! I was unsure how to handle the whole situation. I mean, my roommate and I got along. She wasn’t mean, pushy or rude. She was still a person, and that was how I had to handle it. Since this blog is called the “Young Calvinists,” even though I know a lot of parents read this, I’m hoping teenagers do too. To the teenagers in Covenant, or other Christian high schools, be certain that all of this is out there. Everything you learn about in Church History, Cults, and other religion classes? It exists, and not just in Los Angeles or Detroit. These religions and concepts are not some “big, bad wolf” from a fairy tale story. It’s real, and it’s nearby. So “Be ready always to give an answer” (I Peter 3:15).
So how did I handle this? I was living with a girl whose lifestyle was pretty much polar opposite from mine in every way, religious, personal, emotional. I decided to just live my life. I never once told her she was going to hell, I didn’t preach fire and brimstone, and I didn’t condemn her. But I read my Bible. I spent time in prayer. I left my devotionals in plain sight. She knew my belief, my morals, and my priorities. The presidential election was happening at the time, so of course ethics, agendas and especially the legality of gay marriage was a big conversation piece in our room.
There weren’t necessarily ‘safe’ topics, but we made conversation anyway. We told each other outright on the first night that we were both so certain in our faith, that we would never change each other’s mind. So I knew that preaching at her would get me nowhere, and she knew the same. So, in a very literal sense, we co-existed. We existed in the same room for almost nine months. It always shocked me, though, how civilly we managed to discuss topics like the election that should have led to more fights than it did.
The day before I was going to head home for the summer, as I was packing my bags, my roommate and I were talking. Mild chit-chat about how the school year had gone, the impact we might have made on each other and summer plans. At one point in the conversation I was up in my loft packing, and I told her “I only want you to believe what I believe, because one way or another you’re going to find out someday. And I care about you too much to let you find out the hard way.” And I remember she looked up at me shocked, and stared at me for a minute. I realized her eyes were tearing up a bit as she said “I didn’t realize you cared about me that much…” I told her of course I did, we were roommates, and we had lived together for a whole school year! I wasn’t without emotions! She didn’t reply, but I only hope that made some sort of impact on her.
This article is getting long, so I’ll have to wind down and save the rest of my stories for another article. My little application section for this article might not be as blatant as some, but I suppose my point here is that everything I learned about in Covenant, I always thought those people would be obvious and easy to pick out or recognize. But they’re not. Sometimes they are the college roommate that likes the same music you do, enjoys the same hobbies, and seems to be laid back and genuinely care about your life. The way to handle situations like that is not to preach fire and brimstone, or to shut them out completely, but to let your actions speak louder than words. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven,” Matthew 5:16. While we do have to make our religion apparent, and try to help those that are walking in sin, we must do so with a meek and humble spirit, acknowledging ourselves as sinners too. Another conversation that shocked my roommate was when I told her that I didn’t think I was a better person than her, or anyone on campus. I am no better than her, or any other. With that attitude, we can come to others with love, gently helping them see the error of their ways. Should they ignore us, we will continue to live our lives for Christ, knowing that the world watches us as we bear His name. Onward, Christian soldiers!