The older I get, the more I forget how I’d always felt I was on a different page from everyone else. Who are my people? I’m so ungettable that people won’t even acknowledge that they don’t get me. Eh, it’s not as bad as I used to be, but my eyes roll as I imagine people telling me that I don’t fit in, because I don’t allow myself to.
This weekend, captures the communities that I take part in.
- Friday – I spent in the middle of the mountain forest between Hwy 280 and 1. It was the Winter Conference for PhD/Grad Student Christians at Stanford, Berkeley, UCSF, and UCSC.
- Saturday – I drove through the windiest roads in rainiest and foggiest of nights to get to the opening reception for a new research lab for technology and design, attended by Silicon Valley celebrities and legends in San Francisco.
- Sunday – I went to church group of people who lead prayer meetings, healing cancer, melting metal, and commanding pain out of bodies. People who go into the streets to be with the poor and hurting, who believe that love cures all.
These groups are more-or-less mutually exclusive. It’s hard enough to be part of all three. It’s jarringly apparent after a weekend of switching gears again and again.
- First, it’s not that the PhD Christians lack love, but they are the group that carries the most fear. When you overflow with passion and love, fear gets cast out. The other two groups are extremely more risk taking.
- Second, it’s not that Charismatic Christians lack critical thinking, but they look down on skepticism. In academia, people argue for sport, sometimes taking the most absurd counter-points.
- Finally, the Secular Technologists are probably most satisfied with being distanced from faith. I don’t doubt their love for their work and their friends, but there’s a sort love that only faith enables. There’s a sort of thinking that only faith enables. I’m not here to argue that faith takes us in directions that we cannot go otherwise. My diagram may not be perfect, but it represents what I believe.
Wendy, a staff worker for the PhD Christians at Stanford, said that few people get me. I often forget that people don’t see and feel the same things I feel.
“Hi, PhD Christians, let’s use our infinite supply of love and acceptance to come out of our hiding places and transform the world. We have heavenly and worldly resources in abundant supply.”
“Hi, Software Developers (and company), I wish I had more time to make things like you all do. I’m like you guys, but I believe in God and that he heals people. I think it’s all pretty rational too.”
“Hi, Charismatic Christians, I don’t think your explanations for things will fly with my other two groups. I wish the other two groups could see and accept what love does. Miracles happen when we bring faith and love together.”
Oh, the ways that I alienate myself…