2 AM, Mews Hall, Cornell University
There are strange sounds coming from my RA's room. The annoyingly chirpy, born again Christian one. Min, who lives down the hall, has brought this fact to our attention and gathered us outside her door. From within, we can make out two male voices and a series of strange, birdlike cooing sounds. We can't determine what the men are saying, but they keep up a steady patter. Likewise, the cooing fluxuates in tone, pace, and speed, with an occasional guttural sound, but does not die.
What is this? An orgy? Some sort of satanic ritual? (Has she switched allegiances, or is she perhaps operating undercover - a double agent for Campus Crusade for Christ?) Speculation runs rampant. Actually, truth be told, we are pretty apathetic about the whole thing. Speculation lazily meanders, stopping by the riverbank to smoke some grass. Ten minutes pass. Fifteen. Most of us wander away.
Eventually, the speaking and the sounds stop, and soon after, the door opens, disgorging our RA, another girl, and two men, who chat amiably as the latter three leave the building. When our RA (who we shall call Chrissie, as that is her name) returns, Min inquires as to the nature of the recent goings-on.
As it turns out, the people in her room were friends from her Bible study group, who were there to cast out a demon who had been causing her lower back pain.
That deserves a paragraph to itself.
The noises were courtesy of her female friend, who we are informed was speaking in tongues. Why exactly this came out as cooing is beyond me - I can only imagine a clerical error in Heaven had left her ready to spread the gospel to the avian kingdom. The voices were her two male friends, who had not been performing a protection prayer, or a banishing ritual, or some particularly appropriate chant, but rather retelling the (abridged, I would imagine) tale of Jesus. This seems a little bit like destroying Hiroshima by reading from a Truman biography, but perhaps I'm not fit to judge.
Picking up on this thread, she decides to tell Min the story of Jesus' life. As she is ever-sensitive of diversity and seeks to avoid offense, this doesn't come off as proselytizing or evangelism. It doesn't really come off as informative, either - the story, as she tells it, is vaguer than what they told us in the first-grade CCD class. "There was a man, a long time ago, named Jesus, and we believe he was the son of God...". It continues in this vein for a minute or two, briefly touching on his birth, preaching, death, and resurrection.
Exactly why she feels the need to pass this on to Min is beyond me. Maybe she feels that being Asian, he's somehow managed to go through eighteen years of life without ever being exposed to the story of the central figure of what's probably the world's most influential religion. Min comes from Michigan.
Has her pain gone away? I couldn't tell you - that experience aside, I've seen her for all of five minutes this semester, and I'm aiming to keep it that way. Still, it makes you wonder...