Tuesday, March 21, 2006

But Keep The Old

I have lost touch with one of my college roommates. This saddens me. Once upon a time we were great friends. We lived together for three of our four years of college. As time went on, it became more and more apparent that our lives were heading in different directions, and we grew apart even as we were still roommates. The time came when she told me that she had decided the Christian faith was not for her, that she abhorred the way Christians used God as a crutch, and that she was (or at least wanted to be) strong enough to deal with life on her own. I appreciated her honesty. It takes guts to admit to something like that when you live with three Christian women and attend a Christian university. But with the confirmation of her lack of faith, I am sorry to say that our friendship rapidly disintegrated. We weren't enemies or anything; we just didn't have anything in common. My whole life was based on something that she thought was a crock. Now, I have friends who are not Christians, and family members who are not Christians, and we get along just fine. I think that my roommate and I could have remained friends if we had not been roommates - except that by that point our lives were so different that we probably wouldn't have met each other. Anyway, I think that we could have pulled it off had we not been living together. It is one thing to be friends with a person who does not share your faith. It is another thing entirely to live with such a person. So, needless to say, after graduation we went our separate ways and lost touch with one another.

Not all that long ago, our paths crossed again. Attempts were made to reestablish friendship. Social plans were made. And then she cancelled them. Then we crossed paths again, just a few short weeks later (rather coincidental in a city as large as Seattle, don't you think?) . And she ran away. She was with someone, and she pretended that she did not know me. Now this might sound like an action that would really hurt my feelings. It is the kind of thing that would hurt one's feelings. But it doesn't. It just makes me really sad. Sad for her. Introspective also. Why would she pretend not to know me? I have a strong suspicion that it is because she has chosen a life that she knows I disagree with. The part that saddens me and makes me examine myself is that I feel there must be some reason that she would believe that I would look down upon her or ridicule her or condemn her. What would make her think that? I keep looking back to the years when we were friends, trying to remember my own attitude, words, and behavior. What did I do or say that would make her think that I would not or could not love her despite our differences? I hope nothing. I hope her reasoning is based on something else. I would rather that she just didn't like me. But I don't think that is the case. I think there is something more.

It pains me to think that anyone would avoid me because they think that I would judge them. (Christian Lingo Definition: judge: with the Bible as my guide and the Holy Spirit as my Counselor, I believe that I [and all Christians] can judge behavior as right or wrong. I cannot judge people. That is up to God.) Especially people who are not Christians. I can't hold a non-Christian to the same standards that I would expect from a Christian. To hold non-Christians and Christians alike to the same standard would be to deny the necessity of the power of God to change a life. It would be to say, "I know you don't know Jesus, but I think you should pretend like you do." My friend told me flat out, five years ago, that she was not a Christian. And now I'm afraid that she thinks I look down on her for it. I don't. I'm just sad.

It makes me sad that my old roommate doesn't know that I have a daughter, and I don't know how her dad's cancer recovery went, or even if he survived. I've lost touch with a lot of people from college (and high school and childhood and jobs), as is natural. But this one, for whatever reason, pulls hard at my heart.


Bob said...

It is sad to lose a friend, however the process, and this sounds rather more wrenching than most.

Holly said...

Yes, it is, on both counts.