I smiled slightly without looking up as my roommate came in and sat down on the edge of the bed. It blew his mind that I was always in The Word. While he watched TV and played video games I studied the Books of the Bible. He had nearly jumped out the third floor window when he found out the person he shared a dorm with this semester was going to Seminary after Community College.
“Put that thing away and play some Halo with me.”
“I never play Halo with you.”
“You could start.”
“No thanks, I don’t play violent games.”
“Come on, it’ll be fun.”
“Sit down and read the Bible with me.”
“Come on it’ll be fun.”
“God, why did I have to get stuck with a Jesus freak.”
“At least you acknowledge him, that’s a start.”
“I don’t acknowledge anything.”
“Maybe you should.”
“God, would you stop with that!”
“See, that’s twice now.”
“I’m about two seconds from taking that Bible and beating you to death with it.”
I look up for the first time, and arch one eyebrow at him. He was half my size and had never worked out a day in his life. I made time for the gym twice a week. His clothes were several sizes smaller than mine, and extremely baggy on his skinny frame. While still slightly overweight I was confident I could hold onto my Bible even if he used both hands.
He stared as I read. It was as if he was watching me dip my hand in acid repeatedly. He could not comprehend why someone would read the Bible.
“What do you get out of that anyway?”
“I learn things God wants to me know.”
“I don’t see how you understand it with all the thees and thous.”
“The King James is written in Middle English, try reading a bible translated into modern English like the NIV.”
“What’s the point?”
“To learn about our life with God.”
“You read so much you don’t have a life!”
“I’m not talking about drinking two beers at the same time to impress people at parties.”
“You don’t know how to have fun.”
“We don’t share the same concept of fun. I had to come get you that night. You threw up all inside my car, and it took hours to clean up.”
He starting laughing, remembering how I had sprayed down the inside of my passenger door at a car wash. My eyes narrowed.
“I hope someday you decide to take this seriously. God wants you to be with him when this is all over.”
“Oh please, I am soooo going to Hell.”
“I don’t see why you’re so casual about it if you really believe that.”
“Maybe deep down I know I’m a screw-up.”
“Maybe you are.”
“Maybe I don’t think I can live up to all those high standards in the Bible.”
“Maybe you’re right.”
“Then why try?”
“Trying brings you closer to God. He knows you can’t be perfect. That’s why he sent Jesus. You are a screw-up, and so is everyone else because of man’s sinful nature. If you accept Jesus and call on his name he will tell God you’re one of the good guys. He’ll also send you the Holy Spirit to help you make better decisions and live a holier life.”
“I don’t want to give up my life. I like it.”
“When you accept Jesus the Holy Spirit changes your heart. You won’t feel like you’re giving up anything. You’ll want to change, and it’ll feel good.”
“I don’t know about that.”
I took a highlighter out of my Bible case and highlighted a passage.
“Here, read what I just highlighted. It’ll only take a second.”
He looked at the open Bible I was holding out to him as if staring down the barrel of a gun trained on him. Finally he took it and read what I had marked. As he did so I prayed to the Lord with all my heart.