The defensiveness rose in my chest as we spoke, and I wished I had not worn my department sweatshirt that day.

“We don’t need anything else,” she was saying. Despite a personality that generally tolerated most peoples’ soap boxes and the Christianity I too professed, the buzzing in my mind–a slow uncomfortable resentment–persisted.

She had these dancing hands, plump and expressive, as if choreographing the Latin lyricism of her speech. She had the sort of beautiful cuteness that made the guys look twice. And the more she talked, I saw that she had in fact studied psychology. But the hands turned accusing so quickly, between the doctors prescribing depression medicines, the sinners trusting blue pills over their Maker. Then during testimony time, she bewailed the addictiveness of Adele’s lyrics. She cried, “If only we would have the Word of the Lord as ready on the tips of our tongues…” I looked down at her Converses. It was incomprehensible for me to dislike her. Usually, my soul was drawn to people who loved Jesus and wore sensible shoes.

In the back of the room, I fidgeted next to my friend, the John Piper-loving one who cartwheeled down school hallways, wrote fiction with me, and would later die too young.

“Don’t pretend.” He tapped the space between his eyebrows. Just last week, our English professor had called me out for that tell-tale furrow: “I know you disagree when you get this wrinkle right here…”

I sighed. “I’m not less of a Christian because I think we can use the Bible and scientific advances–like medicine–to heal people.”

“I was thinking more like, what sort of person dislikes Adele?” He grinned. “But you’re right. Otherwise, I’d be less of a Christian for being on Ritalin.”




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