Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chapter 31, part 1: CSF Leaders Meeting

I awoke from the nap with a sense of dread, a niggling fear that something important had been left undone. I left my room and walked as if in a trance down the hall toward the bathroom I shared with my two upstairs housemates. A splash of cold water on my face would clear my senses. At the end of the hall were two doors. One led to the bathroom. Behind the other I heard more strongly the thump of bass that had awoken me, and then the sound of the handle turning.
Zoey emerged, looking startled to see anyone in the hall. “Hey Giselle, aren’t you usually out meeting with your group of holy rollers on Sundays?”
Adrenaline cleared my head faster than cold water ever could. “Uh, yeah … what time is it?”
“About quarter till five.”
I was very late. The CSF leadership regularly met on Sundays at 4:15 to pray and plan the group’s activities. We sometimes ate dinner together afterward. How could I forget? As I threw on a sweater and jacket and rushed down the dilapidated stairs and across the street to Paxton Hall, I wondered again if the group would be better off without me as a leader.
“Giselle, glad you made it,” Rev. Reynolds said as I tried to sneak into the private party room at the back of the dining hall. The eleven other CSF leaders turned to look at me.
“We’re trying to decide what to do about Breanne,” Becky said.
“Ian shared at the beginning of this meeting how she prayed the sinner’s prayer and said she wants to follow Christ,” Dwayne Jurgen said. “I was surprised to hear it because I saw her this weekend walking across campus with that woman from the grocery store. Suffice it to say they were behaving in a way that made it pretty clear that she hasn’t truly repented of her sinful relationship. Until she does, we should make it clear that she’s no longer welcome to attend our functions.”
“She’s a baby Christian,” Ian said. “Don’t we all still have thorns in our side or pet sins that we have a hard time conquering? How can we hold her to a higher standard?”
“Of course, we are all sinners here. That isn’t the point,” Becky said. “The difference is that we recognize they are sins and are daily repenting of them. Someone needs to call Breanne to that same type of ongoing repentance.”
“Who here knows her best to have that kind of conversation?” Rev. Reynolds asked.
All eyes turned to me.
Based on our last conversation in Bible study and her suspected reunion with Lori, I felt pretty sure Breanne believed committed same-sex relationships weren’t condemned in the Bible, and that those who thought otherwise were ignorant bigots. How was I going to tell her she was wrong, when I wasn’t even sure? No matter how much better I’d gotten at confrontation in the past few months, I knew I couldn’t do it.
“It’s true that I’ve been her friend since freshman year,” I said, “but Ian is the one who led her to Christ. I think he may have more of a standing to say something to her at this point.”
“It’s probably inappropriate for a man to have that kind of conversation with her,” Becky said.
“I could do it, but she really values your friendship, Gigi,” Ian said. “I think it would be more non-threatening coming from you.”
“All right then, we’ll follow the Matthew model of confrontation,” Becky said. “First Gigi will talk to her privately, then you can take Ian along for a second confrontation if necessary, and if she still refuses to repent, we’ll confront her as a group.”
Ewan Finley interrupted, “I think we’re jumping the gun here. Can’t we give her space to discover God’s will as He reveals it to her?”
“Ewan may have a point,” Rev. Reynolds said. “Also, I’m just the adviser and don’t get a vote, but I think you all should consider that this is an opportunity here to reach out to a marginalized group. There are other gays on campus that will be watching closely to see how we handle this. Everyone will really. All the kids in fraternities and sororities, people who think they party too much, drink too much, have too much sex to be saved … they’ll all be watching to see what grace really means to CSF.”
“You know her spiritual condition best, Ian. What do you think?” Becky asked.
“A harsh confrontation would definitely be the wrong move,” Ian said.
“I can’t imagine Gigi being harsh with anyone,” Becky said. “But we can’t be silent about this and have it taken as tacit approval. Gigi, will you do it?”
I reluctantly agreed.

“The talk with Breanne has to happen before the next Soulfire,” Becky said. “We’ll be praying for you to find the right words.”