Old friends are treasures.
Friends who made me feel included and cared for when it was so easy to exclude people like me. The brown skinned girl with funny looking eyes in a white community.
I loved laughing with them. Entertaining them. Sharing my time and my life with them.
They’re treasured. And loved. Even though we don’t speak much anymore.
People say there is a cost to following Jesus. And it seems to get higher with each passing generation.
Before, we Christians were viewed as a little bit odd. These days we’re seen as hateful. Dangerous. Closed minded and sanctimonious.
I lost two friends I loved dearly because I chose to trust Jesus. They probably view me as a deluded hate monger now. A hypocrite and a hater of people who experience same-sex attraction.
It was during the plebiscite back in Australia, as the government sought a mandate from the people to legalise same sex marriage.
I pointed to an article that looked at Matthew 19:4-6 and how Jesus, the God I follow, defined marriage.
There was no wriggling out of it. I couldn’t blame cultural bias, or the writer’s opinions. It was there. In black and white. From the mouth of Christ who died for me.
I caused so much pain as old friends looked on in horror. It played out on social media. A train wreck of hurt. I took no pleasure in it.
It was especially painful for one of my dearest girlfriends who was in a stable, loving relationship with another woman at the time.
“How can you, who knows what it feels to be excluded, exclude others?”
“How can you destroy a beautiful friendship like this?”
Each accusation cut deep. And I had no adequate answer that would satisfy them.
I only had Jesus’ words. And the truth that he is God and he is good.
At the lowest point in my life. When my heart was tired from all the aching, he reached out to me.
He loved me at my most unlovable. It was as if he said you are mine, and even if it costs me everything I have, I will save you.
And save me he did.
My life has been transformed. And every time I think the cost of following Jesus is too high, I see him there on the cross. Bleeding and dying for me.
I cannot abandon him there. I can’t.
So that’s how I lost my earthly treasures. Two remarkable women. One was my bridesmaid. The other was one of my oldest friends.
They cut me off after that day.
Years have passed. But I haven’t forgotten them. I still love them. And pray for them.
I pray that one day they will come to understand and forgive me.
For Bloganuary – Day 4. Today WordPress asked “What is a treasure that’s been lost?”