Once I was stabilized enough to travel back to school, I did so in order to withdraw. I no longer wanted to live away from home and the thought of entering my classes again caused much angst. The day I withdrew, I met with my atheist friend who presented me with a get-well-card from himself and our circle of friends. We kept in touch over the following months. I sent him a Christmas gift – The Case for Christ, and then we lost touch.
I enrolled in a nearby university which allowed me to commute from home. I met quite of few Christian friends, some more devout than others, and by this time, my medication provided me with enough comfort to talk about religion. One classmate in particular talked about religion a lot to me. Ray identified himself as a Christian, yet he kept the dietary laws of the Old Testament as well as the Sabbath.
I shared my questions with Ray regarding the Sabbath. At that point, he saw me as a good candidate for truth. Ray gave me a quick low down on the origins of Christmas.
“Well, I knew we really didn’t know when Jesus was born,” I responded. “And that’s very interesting.
I shared my conversation with my boyfriend and from then on, he referred to Ray as my “Jewish-Christian friend.” Ray happily accepted the nickname.
A semester later, in my creative writing class, I chose to write a paper on the true meaning of Christmas. Clearly, Ray’s history lesson didn’t quite sink in. I vividly remember receiving my rough draft from my professor. In the margins beside my words, “Do [non-Christians] even know how Christmas originated?” he wrote, “DO YOU?”
I knew exactly what he meant. I took the foundation Ray gave me, researched it further, and rewrote my paper.
Throughout our religious conversations, Ray further informed me that he gave little credence to the Apostle Paul. He never understood why The Church would base their doctrine on “some letters written to some churches.” I shrugged my shoulders. I wasn’t well-read in the Bible, therefore I just believed what I was told. The Bible included Paul’s letters. The Bible proved to be the most popular book in the world. That was good enough for me.