Free Chipotle

Today I had lunch with a friend from many years ago.  Of course, some of you will say that when I am in my early twenties, I have no idea what it means to say it was  friend from many years ago. But it seemed a lifetime since I’d seen David, so much has changed, so much in my heart and my soul has been molded into a completely different person. Yet, as I swung into the parking lot of Chipotle, late as always, I realized that not much has changed. Because there was David, leaning against the wall, his hair still curly and blonde, one leg bent at the knee with his foot pressed up against the brick of the building. His voice was still deep and he still had that pointy smile where his mouth drops open and he laughs at everything.

He paid for my burrito, leaned over from the cashier’s station, balancing on one leg, with a hand outstretched and asked if he could pay. I shrugged. A little surprised, but not entirely. He always was a nice kid like that. So we settled into a table near the southern wall and began to eat. I wasn’t sure why we were having lunch. David and I haven’t talked since we left high school. I don’t even know that we were friends in high school, more of acquaintances with many mutual friends.

We sat at lunch for more than two hours. We talked about a lot of things. It was funny, because he’s a S—y, the son of a former bishop in the local ward, which means that I know a lot more about him than he does about me. Not to mention my ridiculous memory that stores information about people even if I”m not likely to ever see them again. So we talked about family and what we studied (or what he is studying) at university. We covered the New Testament, the Old Testament and favourite prophets. We talked about futbol, and why I refuse to cheer on Italy in the world cup. We talked about Italy then too, and his two years of living there, my time in Costa Rica and what not. He knew two words in Indonesian and I know about ten. We talked about relationships, future plans (or lack there of). We discussed marriage and single-hood, pressure from family, churches and communities to hurry up and find someone. We talked about music, that I’m an alto and every church song is written for a key I will never reach comfortably. We came out with saved by grace and not by works; with hope that someday God has it planned and will reveal it to us.

It was a great conversation. The only problem?

David’s a mormon. A mormon. The son of a former bishop who served four years in the ward where he was elected. The second son in a familyof five boys and one girl. He is brilliant and a student at BYU–and in Provo, Utah no less. He just finished his second year after the two year time warping interuption of being sent on his mission to Italy. And during lunch, all I could think was how awesome he was. And how badly I wanted to tell him about Jesus. I couldn’t work the conversation around to that though… not today. But it seemed as though we’ll be meeting up again. And maybe then, the Spirit will move.

Until that time though, I’m praying. He’s so firmly entrenched, but there was a sort of wandering question that lingered with him. He saw on my facebook that my religious views are “lots of questions. lots of trust.” And he was curious. But we never quite made it there.

In time… I hope that he comes to knows Jesus. Sweet Jesus who frees from legalism and rules to love and servanthood.


2 responses

  1. When we lived in West Chicago, one of the girls I connected with most was a new mormon. Her parents had been converted and turned their lives around, her father was no longer a drunk and now loved on his family. Hard to argue with the power of that testimony in her life. We happened to find each other in the library at the same study hall, and found out we both read the Bible every morning. It was very surreal, some days we’d both express our awe and reverance over some things we’d been reading and the great love we felt for our Father. Other days we’d end up in debates about the Trinity.

    Especially in a public school, our faith looked the same outwardly. It was super challenging for me.

    • Seriously. I used to get asked in high school if I was a Mormon. I had a lot of Mormon friends in high school, especially from my choir. Not sure what it is about htem, but they all seem to be musically gifted… at least the Coloradoans. So yesterday was sort of refreshing, because I’ve missed my Mormon friends. I told David they’re a unique class of people, becasue they are different.

      It’s hard for me, because they are so close and yet so far. I kept thinking that yesterday while sitting across the table from David. I kept wondering how he could say some of the things he did, and be the person I’ve known from a distance for so many years–yet not know the True Jesus.

      The other thing I can’t seem to wrap my mind around is how so many Mormons live a life that I think Christians are meant for. I know some of it comes from legalism, and that they “have to” obey, and do the things that they do because much of their salvation depends on it. But some of them are quite genuine. David fits in there, he sincerely cares about people, wants to work in the education system to reform it, have a family and be a good husband and father. He’s a real friend and gives generously. How can you look at that, and not wonder if somewhere along the way, despite abberant theology, the Spirit chose to come and indwell his heart? Because I know Mormons who appear to walk in the Way by the power of the Spirit more than half the Christians in my church. How do you explain that?

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