Imagine Getting Unwanted
Directions To An Unknown Place
To: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Georgia Swaps One Bigotry For Another
Date: Friday, January 26, 2001 3:30 AM
The following is the letter to the Baptist guy:
Let me tell you about my friend Cliff. He is honest and down-to-earth sincere. While he is apt to respond negatively to unsolicited spiritual advice, so might you if someone assuming you were interested in getting directions to someplace proceeded to give these unwanted directions to you, perhaps in a forward directive manner, while you voiced no desire to obtain directions to said place, howbeit the place the instructor called his home, to which the informant had yet to visit.
Also please do not take the tone of humor (cloaking self-righteousness?) when addressing profound issues. Would you tell a starving person about the values of sound nutrition by proclaiming him to be lacking in enough moral sense to go to your table and eat with you? You might be discredited as being distrustful or insensitive while "jokingly" sharing the bread of life.
I have met Christians who would not inconvenience themselves to assist others unless it fit into the programmed schedule of events. And certainly would not lend a hand if it not only did not fit into their handy lifestyle, but required them to dirty their hands or sacrifice their appearance for righteousness sake. But that is what Jesus asked us to do when he gave the illustration of the man who needed a friend to help him get his family ox from the ditch on the Sabbath day. The need supercedes the rule of thumb.
Well, Cliff has not only been the Good Samaritan to me on many occasions, but has done so without expecting anything in return. He is apt to share not only his possessions with those in need, but also time and effort. Things like these are of immeasurable importance to those receiving them and are given out of kindness and human dignity. There is not any human problem that Cliff would hesitate to discuss in an earnest manner. (Certainly there may be some graphic verbalizations of gross proportions you may not wish to be emphasized, but nonetheless he is earnest.)
Lastly, I have been the recipient of joyful hugs, artful demonstrative hugs, and sometimes carnal squeezes at various church social gatherings. However, I can attest to the kind gentleness of genuine friendship found in one of Cliff's hugs. I don't feel compromised by this kind of human being.
Once, when we were children we wandered atop a sandstone ridge to seek a better view of the view of the sunset.
"Isn't this dangerous?" I queried.
"Don't worry," he said, "in all likelihood we won't fall off."
I am reminded of this when confronted with the uncertainties of life, that in all likelihood things will turn out okay. That has always been more of a comfort than any of the after-service scripture-quoting Bible-babbling seminars.
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