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.