He’s been talking to me all year. Or, more precisely, trying to talk to me. I do this thing known as trying-to-ignore-him, which I tend to be fairly good at. Something nagged at the back of my mind… and kept nagging at the back of my mind… but I shrugged it off. He’s a pothead, and a foul mouth, and he managed to drive me batty within the first fifteen minutes of meeting him. He asked for my number, and I gave it to him… gave him the number of my phone which didn’t work. And then they fixed it, and I was extremely put out.

And I’ve both laughed and bitterly complained quite a bit.

It’s been a cover. Yes, it was very amusing, and yes, it was very annoying. But it was a cover. A cover because I’m an 18-year-old girl at school, and I’m the only Christian in my class. A cover because I don’t know HOW to deal with non-religious men, and Gene didn’t fit my notions of bad guys.

So I took the occasional friend’s advice, and generally pulled a few mean-college-girl stunts on him, and got more and more frustrated that he wouldn’t leave me alone.

But today something different happened. I was too exhausted from finals to care about ignoring him. He asked me to sit down with him, and I did. We talked for a while, and then something moved in my mind.

Something about eating with tax collectors.

So I heard myself asking him about Christianity. It took a little engineering, and it wasn’t much, but it happened. And we talked about marijuana, and what we both thought of it. And how I felt about his mouth, I think.

And he sat through it. And, by golly, he started treating me like a lady today.

I still hold my distance. I always will. It was just a tiny start. But I forgot something. I forgot how absolutely vile in my sin I was. And I forgot that Jesus ate with tax collectors.

And I keep getting locked up in my own little selfish world. It’s easy to do. College life makes it easy to busy myself with work, and school, and friendships, and my (lack of) health, and I just get… involved. And I don’t reach out to the people who surround me everyday. I text when I should be looking up and reaching out. I reach out to the people who are easy, who are in my comfort zone…

It’s been a week of wake-up calls. Thanks, God.


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