I was sitting at a table in my school’s university center when a guy and a girl approached me. “Hi, we’re part of a Christian group called [it has a name, I promise] at Pitt, and we were wondering if we could talk to you about religion today. Do you have a few minutes?”
“Sure!” I chirped. They seemed surprised and asked if they could sit down. “Of course!” I chirped again.
They asked me a few different questions: what do I think religion is, what about spirituality? Is it different? Have I had any really positive or negative experiences with religion? Is there a religious community on campus? What does religion mean to me personally?
We only spoke for ten minutes or so, but it was a great conversation. And that was the first time I bonded with someone–complete strangers–over something so (not superficially) personal.
Things I learned about myself during this conversation:
- I want a personal relationship with God, not just a relationship with a priest who sends my messages to God
- Because of that, I’m not 100% sure about Catholicism (I haven’t been confirmed yet)
- I think spirituality and religion are different – spirituality is less structured, and I think it appeals to a greater number of people
At the end of it all, we prayed. Well, they prayed for me. For my future and my growing relationship with God. It was so nice.
I went to church on Easter Sunday and was so overcome with this sense of community during the priest’s homily that I started crying. I don’t even remember what he was saying, but in that moment I felt so… full. The church was filled with families, and while it made me really miss mine, I also felt safe, like these people would be my family if I needed them to. It was a strange feeling–one I’ve never had before, and I didn’t really know how to feel about it. I got it again when the two students from Pitt were praying for me.
When I get back home after graduation, I really want to strengthen my faith. I want to go to church every week, and actually read the bible to learn (not because my teachers are making me, like in elementary school). I’m excited for it. Maybe it will one day be strong enough to help me figure out just who I am, what I need, and where I should be in my life. I think that will be good for me.