So I came out of the closet some time ago last year and told all my closest friends that I am an atheist. One of my friends is very into her faith and I knew of all my friends her reaction would be the one of most concern. Wasn't as bad as my other friends thought it would be because they thought that I shouldn't tell her at all. However, I really couldn't lie about who I was much less lie to a friend. So over a year has passed since they all found out now and to my knowledge they all love and care for me the same.
Last week, in a late class I have, I get a call which I ignored and a then a text from the one friend mentioned above. She said she was wondering if we could get together and hang out just the two of us because she had something important she wanted to tell me. So instantly my heart skips a beat and starts to speed up because I'm wondering if it's something bad. The way she said it made her sound rather dour. So needless to say I panicked necessarily so a bit, but we decided to meet up after my class. Now she's a good little roman catholic, but I will admit that the first thought was 'Pregnant'!
We made small talk and caught up about everything and anything until I inquired about what it was she had to tell me. At this she became embarrassed and said "you'll probably think this is stupid." I did the friend thing and said no I wouldn't unless it was severely so to which I'd explain why I thought it was ridiculous. So she's looking at me and I can see that she's getting pretty emotional (eyes tearing up, red face) and she say's that she prays for me. Right off I told her that it wasn't stupid.
However, I don't know if where I took it next was the best way I could have handled this. This is because I remembered an e-mail I got from someone once telling me if I ever need to talk blah blah blah... And I always had a nasty comeback in my head of "I understand your concern, but it is NOT appreciated." This was because I didn't want their petty sorry's and bullshit.
Thing is I said this exact same thing to my friend. That while I think I understood why she prayed for me, I could not honestly say that I appreciated them. This is by no means said with the snark of the first time, but I couldn't really lie to her and say "well thank you maybe your prayers will save my immortal soul." Just wouldn't happen ... So could I have handled this differently/better??
I was working with a few people in Michigan, who were very involved in their church. We were traveling together and ate all our meals together.
The first few meals, they asked if I minded if they prayed....I told them that if it gave them comfort to pray...then I had no problem with it. This was before I was comfortable with my own belief system.
At one point they asked if I would like to "lead" the prayer. I told them no....that my religious thoughts were personal to me and I was not comfortable being fully open.
They took this the wrong way....thinking I was not proud of being xtian....
I genuinely like and respect the people I was working with, so.....I said nothing when they would mention me in the meal time prayer....they would pray that I would "take pride and ownership of my beliefs".....
If they only knew their "prayers" were answered.....just not the way they expected.
They made me understand and commit to what I knew I believed all along.