A Visit From Soul Force
When I came back to work for ACU nearly three years ago, I recognized very quickly this was not the same university I graduated from in 1992. The landscape had changed (we actually have trees on campus now!), the student body had changed (barely 60% of our students are from a Church of Christ background), our academics had changed (for the better!), etc.
And society had changed as well.
One can't turn on the radio or television without being inundated by the homosexual agenda. Every sit-com has a homosexual character; the media bombards us with gay rights activists and there neverending quest for equality and acknowledgment of the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) community.
In 1992, the thought of a group promoting homosexuality on the ACU campus was farthest from my mind. On Monday, the LGBT community made its appearance on the ACU campus. As an employee of the University I won't share much of my personal thoughts of what happened...though I would invite you to read a synopsis of the day's events on the ACU website.
One thing that DID happen was I had an opportunity to spend over an hour visiting with a young lady named Jamie. Each of the "Equality Riders" made themselves available to answer questions and have an open dialogue about anything and everything...so I, along with three other students, took advantage of the opportunity.
Jamie is 28 and hails from Seattle by way of Milwaukee. She works with mentally ill adults in a privately-owned institution. She has a sweet disposition...but seems very sad. Even though she claimed she was happy in the lifestyle she was in, I got the sense that wasn't the case. Maybe it was because she felt like a caged animal at the zoo -- everyone come and look at the lesbian! But maybe she was missing something.
All of the students struggled for questions to ask her...so being the "old guy," I started asking her about growing up in Wisconsin, her experiences in school, her family, and her relationship with God. She was your average American teenage girl -- enjoyed sports, dated boys, and hated school. She had a decent home life, but wasn't real close to either parent. She has one brother who works for the CIA; he's been in Iraq since the beginning. She told us all about the struggle she went through with her sexuality -- trying so hard not to be a lesbian...almost to the point that it killed her.
All of this was interesting...but I was intrigued by her response to my "relationship with God" question.
I had heard that each of the "Equality Riders" were Christians; Jamie was not. In fact, many of them were not. In Jamie's case she has been experimenting with a lot of world religions. What that means I have no idea! But she struggled to share exactly what spirituality meant to her. "I guess if someone wanted to say I was 'acting like a Christian' I would take that as a compliment. Most Christians seem pretty nice -- kinda like you guys," was her only response to Christianity. She enjoyed Chapel -- she thought it was neat that a community of people would get together once a day to praise together.
The group I was with saw that as an open door. I was searching for the right words to witness to her, but I felt inadequate. A couple of the students began chiming in as well -- talking about how much God had done for them. But in the end I felt like Paul talking to King Agrippa. I had so much to say...but I had only a short time.
I and one of the students asked to pray with her...but she said that was kinda weird. So instead I spent time in prayer last night for Jamie.