05.17.2009 – A Conversation
I just finished a long ‘online’ conversation with my foster-brother who lives out of state. He’s a Christian minister and deals mostly in youth programs. The guy has a HUGE heart and wants to do what he believes is the right thing so bad. I just worry about him so much because of that.
He’s struggled financially over the last 10 or 15 years because he’s moves around a lot due to ‘the call of a ministry’. Because of that, he’s placed his wife and daughter in rough situations. They’ve always struggled because most of the time, these ‘jobs’ pay little to nothing at all.
He had found out a while back that I had fallen away from Christianity. He’s been sending ‘hinting’ type questions an emails for a while, that I could tell he really wanted to get out of me what I truly believe. So, tonight, we kind of laid it all out there.
He had a rough childhood. His mother was an alcoholic and his father was not even in the scene at all. He was in and out of group homes until he and I met at youth group in high school. Soon after, he became the first foster-child of my Mom’s and moved in. It was actually quite cool for a while. He was/is the brother i never really had. I love him as much as if he were born into the family.
So, obviously, him being a Christian and me rejecting that faith, has caused him to be concerned for my ‘spirituality’. In the conversation he just wanted to know where I was coming from. So, I told him, in so many words, that I know longer believe in the faith that we were brought up in. Or in ANY faith for that matter. I could tell that he was concerned by that. I tried my best to say over and over that I am a much happier and stronger person since I’ve put aside that dogma that makes everyone believe that they are inherently evil and ugly and unworthy. He claims that he would have never been able to get out of the awful situation he was in early in life if it weren’t for Christ’s help. I say that he doesn’t give himself enough credit and is selling himself short.
I have been able to tell though the ‘tone’ of his writings that everything is not entirely alright with him. So I asked him bluntly “Are you happy?”. There was a long pause. The eventual response was ‘I am content’. I said…that wasn’t what I asked. He responded with something like “I hope that God has a plan for my life that will help him live a happy life.”
I’ll be honest. I’m truly saddened by that. He’s such a genuinely good person. It’s not fair that this burden should be on him. And for what? A fairytale? If he would have been able to answer ‘YES’ to that question without hesitation…I would have let it go there. But after a bit more back and forth. We closed up the conversion and I finished with “I wish nothing but happiness for you”.
And that’s the truth.