On Saturday afternoon I was invited to attend lunch with a group of my high school classmates that I graduated with. It was being hosted by a very nice Adventist family that I am relatively close too. However, after the publication of my article, I wasn’t too excited to go. There would be a lot of very conservative people there, and I knew that they had read my article.

Fear won’t get me anywhere, and for this reason I decided to go anyways. I knew I wouldn’t be staying long because of another appointment, so after I finished eating, I began to get ready to leave. At this point the hostess asked to talk to me and pulled me into one of the small bedrooms. I was terrified.

Scenarios ran through my head. I thought she was going to ask me not to come near her family again or confront me about how I was not living up to my full spiritual potential.

“I read your article, and I am so sorry for what they did to you.” My heart skipped a beat, dropped, fluttered, and then returned to a normal fast-paced trot.

This hasn’t been the only pleasant run-in I’ve had recently. Last week a religious coworker of mine sent me a beautiful note about how they appreciated by article. They assured me of their support and offered some words of encouragement.

These cases are both ones that I would not predict to go well. I have come to expect negativity and distance from people of religious communities. But I have been proven wrong yet again. I’m not saying humanity is inherently good or bad; however, these examples give me hope.

Love can fuel your life, and when it does, people will recognize the difference.

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