I Don’t Know You
Sure you can sit with me! I’m waiting for someone, but he hasn’t arrived yet and there’s plenty of room at the table.
So you’re visiting from out of town? Really? What are you here for?
Oh. I see… so you’re attending that evangelical Christian meeting in town, huh?
Um… wow. You know, you seem like a really nice guy and I love to make new friends, but this just might get awkward.
Why? Well… because I’m waiting for my husband to join me.
You’re okay with that? Really? Please forgive the observation, but that’s a surprise. I mean, aren’t you supposed to be screaming insults and telling me that I’m going to burn in hell because I’m in a relationship with another man? Isn’t that what evangelicals do? Aren’t evangelicals supposed to condemning anyone who isn’t like them? That’s all I see on the news.
Please understand that I’m not trying to be offensive. I’m just curious because you seem… well… so normal. You’re friendly and open, and you’re talking to me like I’m a human being. That’s not what I expected from an evangelical Christian.
And thank you for not being offended by me being so direct.
That’s a surprise. So you don’t agree with what some of the people in your faith do? That’s nice to hear, but doesn’t that put you in a minority?
No? The people you hear about in the news are the minority? Really? I’m surprised again. I see and hear so many ugly and hateful things about evangelicals I’m very careful about associating with them. I avoid places where evangelicals go because everything I see and hear disturbs me. Evangelicals seem hell-bent – pardon the expression – on imposing their view of how the world should be on everyone else. Even if what you say is true and those people are a minority of Christians, they’re a very loud and vocal minority.
Interesting. I guess it makes sense that evangelicals are motivated by a sense of wanting everyone to be happy. I share the same feeling.
The difference is that I’ve accepted what I see as simple truth; that it doesn’t matter what I want for someone else. What they want for themselves is all that matters. I’m happy to share my definition of happiness with the people around me, but I’m okay if they have different definitions or opinions. I can still rejoice with them.
You agree? Wow. I guess we have more in common than I realized.
Funny. I’ve said the same thing. We can overcome our fears if we just sit down with people one-on-one and get to know them. But… I have to admit that I haven’t really made an effort to get to know many evangelicals. I’ve just been too afraid. I keep telling myself I want to, but then fear gets the best of me. I’m a little less afraid now because of you. Thank you for that.
You know, I’m really glad my husband is running late, because our conversation opened my eyes and you got me thinking. I even feel a little chastised. Why? I was afraid of a label, and that fear kept me angry and paralyzed. Now I can see an amazing human being sitting with me, and for that, I’m grateful.
Thank you so much for opening my eyes and helping me see past my fears. I can’t guarantee I’ll see past them every time, but I think it’ll be easier now. Thank you again.
What? You have to go? I understand. I’m sorry you have to go so quickly. I’ve enjoyed our conversation.
God bless you too, my new friend.
About the Author
Appio Hunter is an author, speaker, spiritual guide, and self-described champion for living joyously. He is best known for his work facilitating conversations about the aspects of joyous living with groups around the world.
Appio is driven by a passion to show people how they can be authentic and experience community, connection, and alignment every day by applying the Tenets of Joy to their lives. He is also co-host of the Real Men Feel podcast along with his good friend Andy Grant.