“Zack, I can’t end my old life just like that,” said Jeremy while frustratingly pacing around in his cramped and ill-furnished apartment.
“Look, Jeremy,” said Zack while fighting his way out of the burnt orange beanbag that had some how escaped the dumpster, “I know it’s tough, but you have to admit that your life has changed since you gave your life to Christ.”
Jeremy stopped pacing for a moment to face Zack. He then cupped his hand around Zack’s neck and asked him, “Can I tell you something without you weirding out on me?”
Zack awkwardly replied, “Uh…yeah, I guess.”
“When I first saw you with your blond curls, blue eyes and that innocent smile, I wanted nothing more then to bring you to my apartment and uh…‘get to know you better’.” Jeremy could feel the muscles in Zack’s neck tighten simultaneously as his innocent smile shifted south. “But when you stood up for me in the coffee shop and started telling my ‘would be attackers’ that Jesus died for everyone no matter what sins they had committed, I cried. No one had ever defended me before and now there were two people defending me - you and Jesus.”
Sniffling, Jeremy wiped the reoccurring tears, fighting to continue on, “After everybody settled down, you took me outside to talk and pray. When we said ‘Amen’, I looked up and saw you differently. That’s when I knew something had changed. You’re the first guy I’ve brought to my apartment that I wanted to get to know ‘you’, your soul…not your body. I wanted to get to know my brother and tell him I loved him.” Jeremy released Zack and attempted to shield his tears from him.
Overwhelmed, Zack stood there for a brief moment trying to think of what to do. Eventually he just grabbed Jeremy into his arms blanketing him with love and support saying, “I love you, too.”
After a moment of comforting, Jeremy pulled away wiping his drenched face with his sleeves. “But there’s more,” said Jeremy while sitting down on his unmade bed. Zack followed his lead and was captured again in the clutches of the worn beanbag. “Even though I know that I’ve changed, Zack…I just don’t know if I can give up the gay life. I mean, I’ve always been attracted to guys. It’s not like I wanted to be gay. It just happened. Even now that I’m a Christian, I’m still attracted to men and I hate it. I just wish God would rip out these gay desires and let me be normal. It’s not fair, Zack. You don’t know what it’s like to have these feelings.” Jeremy sunk his face into his hands starting the tears again.
Zack sat contemplating over the situation before replying, “You’re right. I don’t know what it’s like to have the desires that you have but I do know what it’s like to face temptation. And it’s not just me, but Jesus too. He had to face temptation while fasting in a desert for forty days. Even though your particular temptation might be different then some Christians, it doesn’t mean that you’re not saved. All Christians face temptation. It’s normal.”
Jeremy’s face sprung up glaring at Zack. “So you’re saying that temptation is normal for Christians.” Zack nodded in reply. “So, I’m normal,” shot Jeremy with a red-eyed smile. Jeremy was so relieved he knocked over his mattress while jumping from his seat.
“There’s just one last thing you need to do to end your old life.”
Jeremy quickly stopped his moment of celebration and asked “What?”
“You’ll need to get rid of those,” pointing to the scattered ‘magazines’ coming out of hiding from the overturned mattress.
“Oh…yeah…I guess your right,” blushingly agreed Jeremy and added, “The sooner the better, too.” They quickly threw the magazines in a trash sack and headed outside towards the dumpster.
Once there, Zack spoke “Well, are you sure you want to completely end your old life. There’s no turning back.”
Holding the sack of trash in one hand, Jeremy responded. “Of course, I want to end my old life. It was nothing but heartache and pain. Besides, I have Jesus on my side and my brother to watch my back. Why would I ever want to return to my old life?” With that, Jeremy slung the trash into the dumpster thus beginning his new life of hope and ending his old life of sin.
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