I asked Alan this question as we sat in lounge-chairs outside Starbucks on a beautiful mid-morning.
He wrinkled his forehead. “Where did that come from?”
“Well I googled on the word ‘Character’, and it came back with ‘The combination of qualities or features that makes a person distinctive’”, I replied.
He laughed. “So it boils down to what makes me distinctive”.
Still smiling, he said “This Java Chip frappuccino is distinctive…..it’s outstanding and I am savoring every sip”.
Two high-school girls wandered out with their coffees, and sat down near us.
“I still want to know where that question came from?” Alan persisted.
“A tax accountant read my book”, I replied, “and he said that Michelle’s character was so unique that it made the book really interesting”.
“Well, she was distinctive” Alan agreed, “What with having been to heaven, and then taking hikes with you and Kara down here on earth”.
“Yes, and revealing some of the secrets of heaven”.
“And saving the people when the jeep flipped in the river”, he added.
“Yes, and then vanishing. She was distinctive alright”.
As we basked in the end-of-summer sunshine of Albuquerque, my friend drilled deeper in thought.
“The church says we are supposed to develop a Christ-like character”.
“Yes, and he was distinctive too”, I responded.
“He sure was”.
“So how are we supposed to be distinctive and Christ-like?”
“Well for one, we know we are children of God….God is our father. For another, we are optimistic in life, and have hope beyond death……the hope of heaven that Michelle told us about”.
As the school girls looked at us with curious expressions, Alan raised his Java Chip in a toast. “To us being more distinctive this weekend”.
The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……