So there is this episode in LOST…
Seriously, there is this episode in LOST where they show what happened to the survivors of the tail section of Oceanic 815 from the time they crashed on the island until the time when they joined the survivors of the middle section of the plane. There is a one scene I find particularly moving. It is about a month and a half after the plane crash. Since that time Mr. Eko has not spoken a word. We see the harsh Ana Lucia crying softly on the river bank to herself. Mr. Eko approaches her and says, “everything will be ok Ana.” Ana looks up, a little startled and says, “What? You talking now?” Mr. Eko explains that its been 40 days since they landed on the island and that in the Bible, 40 days is a time of spiritual cleansing. “So you waited forty days to talk?” Mr. Eko gently replies to her, “You waited forty days to cry.”
What does this have to do with me? Well, in just a few short hours, it will have been two years since I decided to give in to the truth and become a Roman Catholic. In the midst of the joys of becoming Catholic, a lot of crap has happened to me…a lot. I have lost a lot of friends, I have endured some sharp, misguided and extremely hateful words. I know I’ve probably dealt just as many in return. Nonetheless, I’ve had a lot of things taken from me because of the choice. All worth it, but painful just the same. It has been two years now, and the thought and reflection on it all, well I waited 730 days to cry. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I just cried, and let it all out. My parents were getting on my case about getting on their cases. They told me about all the times they’ve defended my decision. They still don’t understand that this wasn’t a choice I made because of preference, but because of truth, but I’m thankful for their defense to family, friends, and church goers. But, in a fit of selfish pity, I quietly told them that I’ve lost pretty much everything and everyone, that this has been the hardest two years of my life. And then the waterfalls started coming out and I couldn’t stop (kind of like my friend who had an “incident” at a gas station that just wouldn’t stop).
What does this mean for the future of my dealings with my family? I don’t know. Obviously, they don’t understand my motives and in fact our disagreements go far beyond doctrine, but to the very basic concepts of truth, religion, God, and freedom. I believe that truth is something not decided by men, they seem to believe that it is whatever you make it to be. I do not believe that all religions lead to God, my parents seem to be of the opposite opinion. I believe that God’s grace is applicable to all men no matter what crimes they have committed. My parents seem to believe God’s grace can only be given to people that they deem worthy.
So clearly there is some tension that is much deeper than Catholic-Baptist conflict, but overarching principles that need to be changed. In any case, I have a duty to proclaim the Gospel. Perhaps now is the time when I preach to family strictly through deed. I don’t know, though, I suck at being loving and charitable. I don’t hold my tongue well. I guess we’ll see how that goes.
Anyways, I cried for the first time since becoming Catholic, and it was, and I say this without shame, very liberating. Now its time to move into phase two, reconfigure and move forward in the difficult task of bringing Jesus and the truth to my family.