I had a friend who was in my graduating class throughout junior high and high school. “Friend” is maybe a poor choice of words to describe our relationship. “Classmate” is perhaps more fitting, or even, “acquaintance,” at best. We took some classes together, but we generally had different circles of friends. And quite frankly, we couldn’t stand one another. We both had different personalities, ideologies, and beliefs. To me, she came across as annoying and prideful — and I’m sure that’s how she viewed me as well. I remembered at a gathering where our parents met, and her mother said to my father, “Oh, you’re Andrew’s dad? My daughter can’t stand him.” This pretty much summarized our relationship.
This translated into the way we communicated our faith as well. She flatly rejected anything about Christ, and since the Christ I portrayed in those days was one of legalism, judgment, and hypocrisy, I probably (directly or indirectly) contributed to her antagonistic attitude about Jesus.
Fast forward a few years. Both of us went to college, and beyond being Facebook friends, we didn’t bother keeping in touch. I have certainly grown spiritually in a lot of respect over the past years — and apparently, so has she. Imagine my shock when I found out that somehow, some way, this person has placed her faith in Christ, and living out this faith vibrantly! Is this even the same person I knew then?
This humbled me. God is really able to save anyone. And I am not in a position to ever write off anyone, because no one is beyond Jesus’ long arms of grace. But more than that, it reminds me why the God I serve is so awesome and so much bigger than I can comprehend. That He would redeem His people for His glory — regardless of this broken relationship! — He is truly an amazing God.
So in the off-chance that this person is reading this: I’m sorry for having judged you, for failing to portray Christ correctly, and for being a general jerk during those years. Yet I’m so thankful that we are not just “friends” or “acquaintances” anymore — we are family now, together in Christ.