A guest speaker was talking. We were talking about religions as nonprofits that day, and I remembered from the syllabus that she was a Christian Scientist.
I sat down and started listening, but I felt totally lost. She was talking about healing and "Take Me to Church" by Hozier and surfing as a religious experience and her husband's recent conversion. She was not talking, as I would have thought she would be, about how her church is organized or raises money.
I felt uncomfortable. Part of it was that I could tell the people next to me were uncomfortable--checking their email, checking facebook. I felt like they were doing anything to keep from looking at her.
But then there was a moment when I said to myself,
What if I didn't have to feel uncomfortable with what she's saying just because it's different from what I'm used to? What she's saying is beautiful and meaningful to her. Let her say it.
My elbows were on the table, my hands clasped in front of my face. I put them in my lap, physically opening up a path to my heart.
And I listened again, with a different heart. I still felt uncomfortable. It felt like a fire hose straight at my chest, but I let it.
She left some pamphlets when she left, and I took some. I read them all the train ride home--I couldn't stop. They were touching. I shed tears.