Libby was a girl I shared a dormitory with one winter. She was bubbly, colorful, and cheery on good days, and dramatic, loud, and pushy on poor ones. So goes cohabitation, a mixed bag like Forrest’s chocolates. We met when she moved in, and she came from a tiny country I’ve only ever heard about in the movies. Of course, I didn’t want to tell her that, and rushed off to go look at a map.
Our second day was rocky.
I was drinking one of my many daily cups of tea when she came over to ask about my life, and family. She had excellent stories about cooking at home, and we both commiserated on the high price of groceries in Iceland. $12 for a 1/2 pint of blueberries is cost prohibitive to students, families, and everyone really. She asked if I was married, and said there was a guy back home for her, if only he’d make up his mind. Then she asked, “And you’re a Christian?” We talked about it for a while. I told her about my parents and grandparents, and my family traditions growing up.
My beliefs are my own, deeply held, and, while not identical to my parent’s and grandparent’s, they stem from a complex combination of family, culture, and individuality.
It turns out Libby had not been looking to have a conversation. She told me that she, her family, and everyone in her country is deeply Christian, and she was ‘disappointed with the lack of Holy Spirit’ found in Iceland. She’d never been anyplace where people openly admitted to being gay, or not Christian, or thought it was alright to have children before marriage. Then she told me ‘It’s your responsibility to develop your relationship with God, and rely on him in all things. You’ll have no one to blame but yourself when you end up in Hell’.
That’s not a nice thing to say to someone.