I have a very good friend that when I met her first, she was an atheist. However, she was definitely one of the coolest atheists I knew. We got along great and we were friends before too long. I decided though that on the forum we knew each other on, that I’d talk to her one-on-one about it. She agreed. No pressure. Just a theist dialoguing with an atheist.
It was mainly on the Problem of Evil. She was very thoughtful and listened to my replies but still had questions. That was fine. I’ve done this before. I’m willing to wait. Then one day, I signed on and lo and behold, she had converted. She said she had just realized that it was true and came back home. (Apparently, she had been a Christian before.)
Now I hate to say it, but I was kind of skeptical at first. I figured I’d just wait and see what happened.
I now see that my skepticism was totally unfounded.
This girl became one of the main jewels of our forum even more. Everyone loves what she has to say and she has hardly an enemy in this world. (The only one I can think of we will get to later.) Even if they’re not Christians, they respect her. Rest assured, I certainly do as well.
Then recently, we found out through her of course, that in her time when she wasn’t a Christian, she had caught HIV. This came out after her conversion. All of us have been hurt by this news. As we speak now, she is in the hospital battling pneumonia. She’s stable now, but we pray that she comes back to us.
My friend, this blog is for you.
I want to thank you for always being there first off. You listened when we dialogued and you never stopped. You’ve always been there to talk about anything that I’ve dealt with as well and sometimes I’ll come on only to see that you’ve left me a kind message that I don’t think I deserve, but I am pleased to get.
If I hear about a friend of yours who is a non-Christian I think, “If anyone wishes to remain one, they’d better stay away from this girl.” Why? Because I think your Christianity would shine through so strongly that they would eventually be compelled to come to Christ. It’s that intense.
I have watched you grow over the past few months. When for many people, their faith would falter, yours kept going strong. When it became known that you had HIV, you never faltered either. You stayed just as strong. You did what was right and what you had to do. No. What you wanted to do as well.
Then there was that jerk that made that insensitive comment about it. You know of who I speak and so do some others. My honest reaction when I heard it, and I doubt it’s Christian, but I’m being honest, is that I wanted to slam him up against a wall and teach him a lesson and ask for forgiveness afterwards.
Not you. You always showed grace. You’re the one who has even told us to drop it. Granted, it’s not easy for me, but if it’s what you want, then I should try to do it. My guess is that you pray for this individual every night. I do too, but I suspect you have a lot more care for him than I do.
I think about how you’re there and how sometimes I’d prefer to take it on instead of you, but I think each time you would say to me and anyone else, “No. This is what I have. You have a reason God has put you here. I can handle this.” Indeed, you most certainly can and you most certainly are. You are an inspiration to us all.
You have been a blessing to all of us in the short time we have known you. Our lives are all richer because we got to see your light some. Everyone I think needs to know someone like you. We all try to do our can to reflect Christ, but I must say that you reflect him very well.
Someday, this battle for you will be over. Someday, you will be home. We will mourn that day. I know you’ll tell us not to, but we will. Earth will be a poorer place. Heaven will be richer for you being there. However, we will always remember no matter what the light you lived by in how you went about your own life. We will remember how you faced something most of us would not want to even think about and overcame it.
Maybe God will miraculously heal you and that day will be farther off. I pray that it is so, but it is not my decision. I must leave it in his hands and trust him as you are already doing. I just want you to know that I do consider you a friend I am honored and blessed to have and I do hate to see you in this kind of pain. I hope you’re back with us soon.
To you, my dear friend. May you recover and bring back your light.