advocate? Since when did you become such an... by David R. Weiss My faith left my head, where I'd been infatuated with all manner of Lutheran doctrine, and it moved out into my limbs. My faith became invested in "doing," rather than believing. In living compassion, rather than just knowing theology. "Since when did you become such an ... advocate?" "Mark, I've been an increasingly vocal ally for about a dozen years now, and this book collects the best of my writing during that time." A pretty lame response, if you ask me. Sad thing is, he did ask me, and he deserved something better. So if I'm honest as I look back on that October exchange, I'm stung more by my response than by Mark's question. Granted, the booksigning table in the crowded hallway outside the college bookstore on homecoming weekend was probably not the ideal arena to really answer his question. But I want a chance to do better. Not to persuade or convert Mark, but to tell the story of my journey. So that even if he doesn't agree with me, he'll have heard me. Heard the why and the how, not just the when. Advocate continued on page 20 T he question stung coming from my former college roommate. I knew twenty-eight years ago that Mark and I were in pretty different places politically and spiritually. We became fast friends, but as sometimes happens, we learned to sidestep the places where our differences might prove perilous to our friendship. Now I'd been invited back to our alma mater for an author booksigning over homecoming weekend. And, seated at a table behind a display of my books, I'd hoped for something more supportive, more congratulatory. We're both on the verge of turning fifty--are we not ready for an authentic conversation about this yet? | Q View Northwest - Spokane Edition | January 2009 |