i have a pretty good track record of making great friends of other faiths:
in 5th grade my best friend was a born again christian. i’d often attend her activities including one very uncomfortable carman concert that blatantly made fun of mormon missionaries. not surprisingly she was never allowed to come with me to mine.
in 8th grade my friend asked me to visit her youth group and participate in a religious panel discussion along with our friends who were jewish, catholic, lutheran and buddhist. i may have hogged the mic that night and passed out articles of faith cards freely.
that same year i attended my friend’s bat mitzvah. she told me to not come to the synagogue until midway through for her part. my mom got wind of that and said i most certainly would be going when the service began. i did. i sat there, head covered, with her large family. following their cue to stand and sit and listening as they recited hebrew. at one point an aunt leaned over to tell me i was one of the most reverent non-jewish youngsters she’d ever met. i smiled and let her know that my church lasts three hours every sunday. she nodded in approval.
as the only mormon in my group of friends during high school i had plenty of chances to explain things and talk about my church (when i wasn’t getting made fun of). friends jokingly brought mountain dew for me to parties. they said that they knew to leave a party as soon as i did since things usually went downhill after my departure.
at my first tv station one of my friends was jewish. our typical salutation included, “hey jew!” “what up mormon?” we were perfectly fine with this arrangement but apparently other people thought
we i was being a bit insensitive (for the record, i still call alex jew). when the passion of christ came out we saw it with our catholic coworker. how is that for a joke opener, “so a mormon, catholic and jew walk into a movie theater…”
it was while at this tv station that i felt the interfaith support of my friends after my sister was in a terrible accident. friends of all faiths were offering prayers on her behalf. including alex, who placed a slip of paper into the crevices of the wailing wall.
my second tv station gave me the smith duo. the phrase, we are praying for you has come to be a cherished gift. a recent phone call reminded me how they actively live their faith making them some of the best christian friends.
three office christmas parties ago i found a kindred non-alcohol drinking christian friend. we sat by each other on purpose and expressed how it was so fun to have someone else who doesn’t drink. meagan is a seventh-day adventist and i feel a tremendous amount of kinship between our two religions. i have run my young women, sunday school and now primary lessons by her. we’ve discussed doctrine and politics and how we live our faith. we’ve even compared commonalities in our church culture, down to mormons saying their “ox is in the mire” on sundays and adventists saying their “ox is in the ditch” on saturdays.*
mostly, we crack ourselves up with the ongoing joke that if we were married we’d never be able to do anything on the weekend since her sabbath is from friday sundown to saturday sundown and my sabbath is all day sunday. it’s a joke that makes us laugh super hard until we calm down, and then we start right back up. the kind of laughing where little tears squeeze out. everyone else just kind of stares while we laugh.
just scheduling friend time can be difficult. last week with christian gone, meagan and i had a crazy thursday night date planned. we ate thai food and watched this means war.
despite our sabbath day observances, i think my feelings regarding football and dogs are probably a bigger problem. good thing meagan can put those differences aside!
*euphemism for breaking the sabbath.