The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. That’s the title of Rosaria Butterfield’s memoir. I read the book in preparing to preach on homosexuality because part of Butterfield’s story includes coming out of a lesbian lifestyle after her conversion. But her book is not about homosexuality. There are no political rants or arguments made for or against same-sex marriage. Instead, her book is an honest and raw recounting of what happens when Jesus becomes your Lord.
Before her conversion, Rosaria describes herself as a happy, intellectual, liberal, Christianity-abhorring, English professor who lived with her partner and was a part of several advocacy groups. After her conversion, she details her life as a follower of Jesus, the wife of a church planter, a stay at home mom, and homeschooler. Butterfield is an engaging writer and I thoroughly enjoyed her book. Below are three quotes to whet your appetite.
In the pages that follow, I share what happened in my private world through what Christians politely call conversion. This word— conversion— is simply too tame and too refined to capture the train wreck that I experienced in coming face-to-face with the Living God. I know of only one word to describe this time-released encounter: impact. Impact is, I believe, the space between the multiple car crash and the body count. I try, in the pages that follow, to relive the impact of God on my life. (Kindle Locations 72-75).
Before I ever stepped foot in a church, I spent two years meeting with Ken and Floy and on and off “studying” scripture and my heart…at that time that I couldn’t come to church— it would have been too threatening, too weird, too much. So, Ken was willing to bring the church to me. (Kindle Locations 294-295)
My testimony is like iodine on starch. An elder’s wife, someone I valued as a friend, asked me what I would do if a homosexual entered our worship service. I quickly shared with her my testimony, apologizing that I hadn’t done so earlier. I gave her a chapter of the book that you are holding in your hand and I asked her to read it and to let me know what she thought of all of this. A week later, she came to talk. She took a deep breath. All the color drained from her face. She looked like she had just witnessed a crime scene. Manifesting disgust and horror, she told me that she wished that I hadn’t shared this with her. She quickly added, “Oh, I’m fine with this information, but B (the other elder’s wife) could never handle it. Do you have to tell people about this?” This. Rosaria’s unmentionable past. Rahab the Harlot. Mary Magdalene. We love these women between the pages of our Bible, but we don’t want to sit at the Lord’s Table with them— with people like me— drinking from a common cup. That’s the real ringer: the common cup— that is, our common origin in depravity. We are only righteous in Christ and in him alone. But that’s a hard pill to swallow, especially if you give yourself kudos for good choices. (Kindle Locations 2477-2488).