Well, I just had one of the best two hour conversations of my entire life! One of my friends left just a few minutes ago and t's now 11:37 PM. I was worried that I was going to fail on Day ONE of my new blogging endeavor. We're cuttin' it close, people!
Allow me to fill you in on a typical Saturday in the life of Jessica. Today, I woke up... erm.. let us just say, ridiculously late. Usually one of my students comes on Saturday mornings for my Chinese lesson, but he had called me last night asking if we could switch to Sunday afternoon. So, I enjoyed my shameful amount of sleep, thank you very much.
The afternoon past swiftly, I practiced the guitar a little, downloaded some lessons from Chinesepod.com (learning Mandarin? Check it out! It's awesome), did some dishes (pause for Katie to remember why she loves me), and yelled at our obese rabbit that jumps on every surface available in our apartment about... 235 times (approximately).
Every other Saturday, I host a singing devo. at our apartment. So, I grabbed some rice noodles mixed with egg and lettuce for dinner at Sogo (our local super cheap food spot), then bought some snacks for the group at the nearby little corner store, where I'm pretty sure I provide the owners with 90% of their income, and awaited the peeps.
Being that we Americans stay pretty busy with special studies among other things these days, I ended up being the only American and the only believer able to be present at the event. Despite being the only one who knows the songs, we had a great time! About 10 friends showed up, and I ended up singing a few partial solos. Upon finishing a Chinese song that we sing just about every Sunday with the Family, all of my friends applauded~ They are easily impressed and just sweet~ but I'm not so sure that they get that reading Pinyin is incredibly easy compared to their memorization of thousands of characters. Anyway, after an hour or two, everyone left, except for one of my friends, Alexander.
Alexander has been studying regularly with Zack for quite some time, and has been searching for answers for a while, as well. Under Zack's tutelage and his own dedication, his knowledge of the Good Book is nothing less than impressive. Somehow we ended up in a long conversation about all of his doubts and concerns about the faith. I can't remember ever feeling so pumped after a two hour conversation. I was actually trembling.
Strange, isn't it, that when talking about someones doubts and fears it can make you feel more self-assured in your own beliefs? I have no doubt that HE was with me throughout the conversation. Answers flowed from my mouth so easily, it amazed me, and I knew I wasn't alone. We had long moments of silence and contemplation, and at one point I even allowed myself to let the words that we believers so often fear admitting more than anything, "I don't know." I believe that Alexander had asked something about why miracles don't still happen, and why, in light of his sacrifice, it all had to be the way it was, instead of another way. I gave him a few theories, talked about how the plan seemed, in many ways, to be perfect, but, in the end, I told him I couldn't fully comprehend the mind of the Almighty.
I don't know all of the answers. No one does. But I believe that more than sufficient evidence has been placed before me, to lead me to believe what I do. And my admission surprisingly seemed to spur one of the most logical and evidence-driven people I've ever met towards positive interest rather than cynicism.
At the end of our conversation Alexander was quiet, "I need some time to think about all of this." And as he left, "Thank you, I know something from you." And I looked at him and realized as I said, "I know something from you, too."