It was my first time out of the evangelical cocoon, and my priority was finding a church I could love, commit my life to, and make my spiritual and social center.
My search ended in Brooklyn, where I found a church of young creative people and fledgling professionals who, like me, were looking for a faith less burdened by fundamentalism.
Our conversation was unremarkable, and yet I was captivated. I convinced her that biking in New York wasn’t too hazardous, so she bought a bicycle on Craigslist. — we went back to my apartment, where I cleaned pebbles out of her skin and bandaged her ankle.
That worked until one night when we went to the ballet, and I kissed her, and she told me she loved me. As we walked, Jess noticed a distraught homeless man standing in traffic. But watching Jess interact with this man, I saw a new horizon, one that was more complicated.We eventually found a new church that champions this belief and embraces all people. Two years after our first kiss, Jess and I sneaked onto an empty Rhode Island beach. Only a few stars and a cloudy moon illuminated our running and jumping as we let freedom eradicate our shame. The moment seemed perfect as is.“Well, I’ll write something, and we can read it later.”Jess scribbled and then handed me the open notebook, shining her phone’s flashlight on it. I waited for her to ask me those four fated words, but she was silent. Then she asked if I remembered the homeless man we met that morning after brunch. The light was a shocking intrusion upon our private darkness, so I asked her to turn it off. When I looked down, I saw a hole cut out in the middle of all the pages.