For past several months, my neighbors were 4 Germans and a Chicagoan. They were not in the least bit Christian or slightly religious. One even exclaimed “I don’t believe in God at all.” I also heard the “whatever works for you to get through life” a few times while they stayed.
It is Sunday night. The Chicagoan left today and the Germans have been gone for about a week now.
And to be honest.
This may sound pathetic.
I miss them already.
Each morning I was greeted by a “Gud Mornin’ Nate” which was met by my smirk from hearing his thick German accent. And every evening was met by someone asking how my day was and visa versa. A small community tucked away on the third floor of an old mansion.
The conversations never ceased as politics, American history, economics, sociology, social and environmental issues were discussed at ease. Not to mention thoughts on sexuality, homelessness, race and religion – especially the Christian Church’s influence in it all.
There were days I did not know how to respond. I am not confident if I should have or if it mattered at all. I listened through the random Kentucky outings to outlet shops or bourbon distilleries. They asked bigger questions, which I have forgotten recently and at times afraid to even discuss with the closest of friends. Often times, I did not feel Christian enough to answer their questions. Or if I was being Christian enough by not inviting them to a service each and every week they were here.
But it probably would have ruin our relationship.
Their thoughts may have been solidify in their mind. It was not necessary to push out typical Christian answers. They could see my roommate’s and my Bible on the counter and moving from place to place. It was not something we hid from. Our words did speak the Truth when prompted to share. And graciously neither party hid from the other. The dialogue was open because this was how relationship is built. It humored me to watch one person in particular continue to walk into my apartment just to hang out and talk openly about their life struggles. Maybe this is what it is meant to be Jesus – available and gently speaking Truth.
It helped me to start rethinking the bigger questions people are asking. My thoughts are shaped from a Biblical worldview. But I am also remembering when it means that the Kingdom Comes down on earth as it is in Heaven — This includes all of those uncomfortable topics we too easily shy from.
I know I could have done a better job at being the Gospel (probably sharing the Gospel) at times. I’m grateful for the one who continues to text me day in and out as they travel throughout other parts of the States. It’s a friendship which will be kept.
To my German and Chicagoan friends. I miss you. And thank you.
Til we meet again.