Chastity had a special place in her dreams which she called animal sanctuary. It was a grassy field with many trees and herbivorous animals. It was there that Honesty the unicorn often ate grass with the other horses. Honesty was like a white horse except with a sharp silver horn on its head. Honesty was neither male or female. Or perhaps it could be said that Honesty was both. It represented truth, but beyond that Chastity could not understand Honesty all the time.
Still, Chastity talked to the unicorn at various times. The following is one of those times she had some news to tell Honesty.
C: Honesty, I have had some new experiences lately that I want to tell you about. I recently started attending Church of the Four Corners in Independence and I want your input on some things.
H: What made you decide to go back to church after ten years?
C: I thought about some things we talked about before. We talked about a variety of topics and quite a bit about the teachings of Jesus. I think that there are two main things that have shown where Christians have failed. Moreover, they made me feel like I failed too.
H: What do you mean about them making you feel like you failed?
C: Because I don’t use the words they use nor do I sound excited about God or Jesus. I have questions that no one has really answered and I am one who must understand things before I care much about something. I know what you told me before and that you came in the form of Jesus long ago but were misunderstood. Yet knowing this does not help much because I still have a battle ahead of me because as long as I live, this world is filled with people who call themselves followers of Jesus and yet most of them do not follow the golden rule nor do they read their bibles and yet they claim to believe it all. Obviously they are lying but I am honest and so I will never claim to be something I am not.
H: And what are you, exactly?
C: I am just an honest soul. I am just a regular person who works my job and struggles to pay bills and help River and my mother. I don’t care about fancy labels anymore and I suspect it’s only a matter of time before somebody figures out that I am not any sort of Christian, yet I go to church because I do believe that some of these people in the churches do have at least some of the truth.
H: Some of the truth? What the horse are you talking about?
C: I’m talking about the fact that there are good things in the bible and some of the sayings of Jesus, but I do not think that there is any reason to get excited about the death or resurrection of Jesus. It does no good for anyone to believe in Jesus nor does it matter if he died if Christians are just going to be idiots claiming to be followers of Jesus and yet kicking people out of their lives for being different. They ought to be spending time with “sinners” just as Jesus did and do the things he said rather than hating people for being gay, transgender, having a mental illness, or an alcohol addiction.
H: I see what’s happening. You’re thinking about River aren’t you?
C: Yes, I understand River quite well. Almost everyone in his life blames him for his alcohol addiction and they also don’t know the depth of his problems aside from that. But the thing that bothers me most are comments from people who just say that River needs Jesus or needs to know the lord. I don’t know exactly what they mean by that but I know that people have unrealistic expectations and think that if they pray a prayer or believe some certain thing then all their problems go away.
H: You mean like those people who tell stories about how they got over their addictions or left behind their life of crime after they got saved?
C: Yes, that’s what I am talking about. People talk as if they just have some experience and their life is forever changed. Maybe it is changed for a week or so but then the problems of life come back. If there is one thing that I am sure, it is that life is never so simple. It’s complicated.
H: I couldn’t agree more. You know that problems need to be solved in different ways and not every solution is spiritual. People need physical and mental help too.
C: To make matters more complicated, all these things are blended together and I don’t know which is which. I want to make a difference in the world and I do think that getting involved in what my local church is doing is a good step, but how exactly will that work when someone hates me because I am transgender? Will I make friends and find new missions only to lose them because they think I’m evil for being transgender and they will assume I’m living in some kind of sexual perversion because of the ridiculous actions of the majority of LGBT people?
H: I have two things to say you you Chastity. First, you still care way too much what people think of you. Second, some people WILL hate you and abuse you no matter how good you are or what sex you had been born as. The problem is with them and if you let this fear scare you off from your mission in life, then there sure isn’t much hope for the rest of humanity either.
C: What do you mean?
H: I mean that you’re one of the bravest people I have ever met. The way you just plainly speak the truth is sure to win you many friends and enemies. There are more people like River who will accept you as you are just as there are those who will not. We will deal with them when the time comes, but for now I think you are on the right track.
C: You mean you think me going to church is a good idea?
H: Yes, but not for the reasons that others have been telling you that you should. Maybe you will never be thought of as a Christian but you do live more like Jesus than most of the people I know who claim to be Christians. Maybe they can learn something from you. Therefore I say going to church is a good idea. But beyond that, I think that you have succeeded in showing the love of the pure in heart. You live to show the love of the White Rose. River knows this as well as I do. You will succeed in areas that others have failed.
C: I’m glad to hear you say that, Honesty. I was curious what you would think about this. I do have many questions I would like to ask you, and yet I am not sure I am ready for the answers.
H: If you’re committed to the truth, then you are ready for anything, even if you don’t like what you find. But since you’re here, maybe you could ask me questions that have been on your mind.
C: If you really were known as Jesus in the past, maybe you could explain some things. I still don’t know which parts of the story were true or made up for some reason by people who decided what would be the the bible. Yet I know that the bible is the source of what many believe even if I think only some of it is actually true.
H: Sure, what would you like to know first?
C: Why did you often tell people not to tell others after you healed them or did miracles?
H: Because the goal was not to impress people with miracles. The goal was to be as ordinary and live an example that others could follow. I came to teach people how to love each other. Power such as mine would only be misused and misunderstood. If they were to listen to what I said only because I could do seemingly magical things, then they might as well believe anyone else who could do something beyond their understanding, even if that person was dishonest. Signs and wonders have their place but can often make matters worse if done at the wrong time. That’s why I kept miracles hidden as much as I could even though I knew the word would get out eventually.
C: And what about the resurrection? What was the meaning of that and how should respond to it?
H: Each will respond to it in their own way. If you’re looking for the one correct response, then you’ve already fallen into one of the traps of modern Christianity. But I will tell you my favorite response.
C: Which response was that?
H: My favorite response was that of Thomas. When the other disciples told him that they had seen me, he said he would not believe it unless he saw me and felt my woulds. You have read this before in John 20:24-29
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
C: Yes I do remember this story, but what was unique about Thomas that you liked about his response to your resurrection?
H: I like Thomas because he did not believe things simply because others told him. He was known as Doubting Thomas for this and yet his response is actually the correct response when something happens that is “unbelievable”.
C: If this is the correct response, then what is the meaning of verse 29? Why are those who have not seen and yet believe blessed?
H: Because they have Faith Privilege. They have an easier time accepting things simply because they are told them. This is a double edged sword. On the one hand they have less to think about because the don’t have to painfully put the pieces together and reason everything out the way an autistic person like you does. In that way they are blessed because they have life easy. But at the same time they are like sheep without a shepherd. If they don’t have a strong leader to give them the right information, or even worse, a corrupt leader, they will never find their way because they have become too dependent on just believing what they are told and doing what they are told to do.
C: So are you saying that I am like Thomas because I don’t believe things easily unless I can experience them myself?
H: Exactly, Chastity, you don’t have the privilege of just following along with a group of people. You never fit into what Christianity has become in America today, and neither should you! If you were the kind of person who blended into society you would never have met me!
C: Why is that?
H: Because those who think they already have the truth will never look for it! You were searching for answers to many things and yet the humans are not able to give it to you because you were built different. So for people like you and Thomas I do miracles that even you cannot call a coincidence!
C: Can you give an example of this?
H: Yes, first of all I could have healed my wounds so that there would not have been any evidence for Thomas! He would never have believed then, and rightly so! And for you I came in the form of a unicorn because only you know what a unicorn is. So yes, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe, but verily I say unto you, Chastity White Rose, even more blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall SEE God!