It started out like every other lunch I'd had with my friend Ann: I ordered mu shu pork; she ordered beef in oyster sauce. I asked for fried rice; she wanted white. Then with chopsticks in hand, we dug into our food. Nothing unusual, nothing surprising … that is, until we were halfway through the meal.
I'd just lifted my little round teacup to my lips when Ann looked me straight in the eye and said, "There's something I need to tell you about me."
"Sure. Shoot," I said, shrugging. What could she tell me I didn't already know? After all, we'd been good friends since high school, more than a decade ago. I remembered those days of boy-watching, deciding which guys were "hunks" and which were "nerds" while we munched matching cones of Baskin-Robbins ice cream. We talked about God, too. Or at least I talked about him. Usually Ann gave me her "that's nice for you" look, then suggested a trip to the mall. I'd gotten used to her disinterest in Christ, just as she'd become accustomed to my "guess what I learned at Bible study" stories. Maybe we'd grown older in the several years, but our friendship hadn't changed, had it?
Ann's gaze didn't waver as I set down my teacup and leaned forward expectantly. Then she dropped the bomb. "Marlo," she stated, her voice shaking a little, "I'm a lesbian." Boom. Just like that.
"Um, uh, you're a … gulp," was my oh-so-articulate response. Then, as I sat and stared at her, dumbstruck, the words of an old memory verse flitted through my mind: "Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim. 4:2). In truth, I was anything but prepared, so I simply said "Oh," then stuffed another bite of mu shu pork in my mouth.