August 5, 2013

The Summer of Jesus Versus Buddha. (Part 3)

The Breakup Breakdown

Part One

Part Two

I felt like it was really, truly in love for the first time. I thought that love would transcend our immense differences in belief systems. I imagined us traveling the world, he as a missionary and me… well, that part was not completely clear. The wife of a missionary. The yoga-teaching wife of a missionary. The mindful Christian spreading the light of Christ and Buddha around the world.

By now, it was late July of 2004.

Our last date was a funeral.

One of his great uncles had passed away. He invited me to the funeral,  he said I was like family to him. My heart melted. I dug through my closet for my most conservative dress. The service was lovely. This particular uncle was from a branch of the family tree that was not Fundamentalist. I remember tearing up when one speaker shared that Uncle Ralph and his wife had danced in the kitchen every morning during their 50 year marriage.

Christopher and I got into an argument in the car on the way home from the funeral. Something to do with his assertion that Uncle Ralph was not saved, therefore he was not in heaven. Followed by my assertion that that was bullshit, and nobody knows what happens after we die.

We were a mere eight weeks into the whirlwind relationship, but it felt like eight months since we spent every possible waking moment together, and we had already met each others families. Solemnly, Christopher and I agreed to take a week apart.

I drove down to L.A. for the weekend to visit my friend, Rose. In a shoebox under her bed, she happened to have a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. It was written by a young Christian bachelor named Josh Harris who, like Christopher, believed in saving his virginity for marriage. I devoured the book and though I completely disagreed with its premise, I was grateful that it helped me understand the virginal mind of Christopher a little better. Or so I thought.

Going out? Been dumped? Waiting for a call that doesn’t come? Have you tasted pain in dating, drifted through one romance or, possibly, several of them?

Ever wondered, Isn’t there a better way?

I Kissed Dating Goodbye shows what it means to entrust your love life to God. Joshua Harris shares his story of giving up dating and discovering that God has something even better—a life of sincere love, true purity, and purposeful singleness.

Still.  I was so blinded by lust that I thought we could make it work.

I ached for Christopher in every moment of our seven-day separation. I wished we could go back in time and hijack the commercial jet on which we met. Fly east, across the globe, away from his judgmental family, his ludicrous church and my incredulous friends.

In my journal, I boiled my spiritual belief system down to these eight bite-sized points:

awareness (all we have is now.)

compassion (all we need is love.)

peace (live and let live.)

being (i am.)

spirit (the holy spirit is beyond us and within us.)

unity (many paths, one truth.)

destiny (everything is meant to be. let it be.)

joy (neither cling nor reject. no attachment, no aversion.)

In a way, Christopher had led me back to Jesus. Because of him, I was once again open to the teachings of Christ, for the first time since age ten. Still, I was absolutely unwilling to declare that the Christian path was The One and Only True Path.

I’d altered my spirituality because of him; he remained unchanged.

When we reunited at a Starbucks, it was immediately clear that his mind was made up. He could not accept me as I was and I had not changed enough to keep him. Thus, our romance ended as quickly as it had begun. I was shocked and appalled that it turned out to be nothing more than a summer fling. But the story was not over yet.

To be continued…

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Ed: Sara Crolick

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