A noise woke me one night. I snuck down the hallway to the tune of Clip, clip – clip clip.
Cautiously, I peeked around the door and saw my roommate sitting with a pair of scissors in her hand, a book, and papers on the floor.
“Kim, why do you insist on scaring me?”
“I should be asking you the questions.”
I stood over her shoulder to access the situation. From experience I knew I would only get a certain amount, never the same number, so I should use them wisely.
“What do you have there?”
Ugh…a wasted question. I grabbed the book and …“Chloey!”
“We’re back at this again?”
“It’s the Bible.”
“Is that a question?”
“It’s no question, but…” I moved away, scared of lightning. “You’re cutting up your Bible.”
“That’s not a question, either, is it?”
She mocked me.
“You’re getting good at this.” She giggled. This was NOT a giggling matter.
“Seriously, Kim, I’m all for being a Christian. I believe in God and I know He’s coming back…some day. But there are just some things in this book that doesn’t pertain to me. You know?”
“No, Chloey, I don’t know. You’ve changed so much. In fact, you’ve not been living you’re faith for a long time.”
“That’s what I mean. I always lived like this book mattered. Like God mattered. I know He does. I mean, there’s stuff in here that matters. I guess. In order for me to be true to myself, to be earnest, in order for me to be true to God, I came up with the best idea!”
I opened her Bible to the cut out pages. “You decided to cut out the verses that you didn’t like?”
She held up 2 fingers. “Isn’t that awesome? Do you think I’m the first to come up with this? I could start my own movement.”
My friend Chloey, so smart in some ways, dingy in others, was scaring me. I knew there were cults she could easily fall into. Lord, help me.
“Stop that, Kim. I know you’re praying. I believe in love.” She looked at her engagement ring. “I kept all that. Not so sure about those verses on forgiveness.”
Aha. I had her there. “Chloey, what about forgiveness as in people forgiving you?”
“Well…of course I want people to forgive me.”
“But you said you don’t like those verses.”
“Turn the other cheek and all that, no, not at all.”
“What about how Jesus forgave us when He died on the cross for our sins? Do you like that forgiveness?”
“That’s three and four, Kim. What if it isn’t true? What if it’s all a big joke? Ha ha on us!”
“What if it is true?”
I watched her squirm and she even missed that it was question number five. I’m not used to winning a debate. Score one for me. One for God, actually.
“We can keep forgiveness. I haven’t cut that part out anyway.”
“Chloey, you’re my best friend, right?”
She didn’t lose track after all. “Forget counting. This is serious.” I held her holey Holy Word of God up to my chest. “It doesn’t matter how much you cut out of this book. It’s going to all be there in mine right down the hall and in the bookstores.” Tears streamed down my face.
“To thine own self be true, you say, but you just want to justify your sins, that’s all. You’re not being true to yourself. The Chloey I knew lived her faith so all could see. She believed every word in here.”
I stopped, too choked up to go on, because I realized I’d changed, too. I may not have physically cut pages from my Bible, but in my heart I did. Maybe she followed me down this path to the tune of clip, clip – clip clip.
“Chloey, I have to tell you something.”
I moved in close, knowing if lightning struck, I deserved it too, and told her about my spiritually holey Bible. We decided to patch things up: her Bible and both our hearts. We prayed, giggled, and scotch-taped. We also recommitted our lives. We would live our First Love, in earnest.
In Chloey’s best Shakespearian voice she prayed, ‘To our own selves be true…to You God.”
Chloey still counts my questions, but in retaliation, I make her ask me for the scissors. Better safe than ducking for cover and spending nights taping pages again…just in case.
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