To all my non-Christian friends out there,
First off, tell me.
If what I ever say does not bring you comfort, please, tell me. If hearing I am praying to someone you don’t believe in hurts more than it helps? Tell me. If it’s not what you want or need to hear in the middle of greiving…you got it. Tell me.
I promise I will not be offended. I will not sit there and quietly, or openly, be horrified or judge you for not sharing my belief. I will not pity you. I won’t try to convince you to change your beliefs nor will I bombard you with information about what I believe. That’s never my way of sharing my faith, but especially when you’re in a heartbroken place? No thank you.
I do promise though, to respect your beliefs. I promise to not use heaven as the gift for dying if I know you do not believe in it; it’s probably not that comforting to hear your loved one is in a place you don’t think exists.
I promise to still be present and listen, even if any and all the aspects I can bring comfort forward with disappear, because I love you. And if you need me to comfort you, I will do it how you need it to be done.
I promise once I know to be more aware. While I can’t promise to stop praying for you, I do promise to not make that the only part I tell you about. I can’t imagine the frustration of hearing “Oh I’m praying for you,” with just a message on Facebook and nothing more. Especially if you don’t share that belief.
I promise to never be that person. I will try to offer more than prayer; even though I believe it can save anything, I know you don’t and I want you to know I am also a doing Christian, not just a praying one.
I cannot promise to stop talking about God or the Gospel. It’s a huge, intimate part of who I am and while you don’t share that, I hope you can respect that I believe Jesus saved my life in my darkest. I don’t promise to no longer celebrate that aspect of me-much like you, my dear friend, I hope is never afraid to share your beliefs (or non beliefs) with me and the world. I will always promise to respect them, even the ones I do not understand.
Please, my friend, don’t be afraid to share your truths with me. It won’t change how I behave towards you and it won’t change what I believe, but it will allow me to be more helpful when loving you.
So please, tell me.
Don’t be afraid of hurting, upsetting, or offending me.
Tell me, because as your friend, I want to help you heal. I want to show you love. And I want you to be comfortable in this season of grief