I just returned from an interesting experience in San Francisco. My cousin got married to a Muslim lass named Fatima.
To say I felt precarious the whole time would have to be the understatement of the year. I didn’t know exactly how to act, disapproving of the marriage itself, and yet hoping to somehow not destroy the relationship (I’m the only pastor in the family; maybe one day he’ll seek pastoral advice from me and not the presbyterian pastor who assisted in the ceremony). At least I can hope.
But since I was not excited about the marriage, it was hard to feign positive emotions. Sometimes I can act, but most of the time I can’t. Probably the best word to describe my experience is “vertigo.”
U2 sang a song called “Vertigo” reflecting on the difficulty of living out your faith among non Christians. Difficult, but we are called to do it. Unfortunately many Christians isolate themselves and never have to deal with “vertigo.” They then forfeit a great experience of dependence and humility. But ‘vertigo’ makes our fellowship that much greater, sweeter, and deeper. When I came to church the next day, it was an even greater blessing than usual.
Although I have to admit during the trip, I had fellowship with my family and some extended family members which helped with the “vertigo” experience. While U2 probably ought to spend some more time in fellowship with believers, many others probably need to experience ‘vertigo’ more often. But I recommend it in smaller doses and in far different circumstances.