I have faith now that I've never experienced before, even being raised in the church. I've never before felt a strong desire to "witness" to people regarding my faith, as we used to call it when I was involved. I remember one time when I was fifteen years old when I "witnessed" my faith to a "friend" of mine.
We were in a band together at the time, three young guys trying to emulate their punk and alternative icons. In the basement at my house, an argument broke out. Our drummer Josh was the son of a minister, myself the son of parents who were very religious in practice. This other friend, Jake, was defiant. I remember talk about the Bible being untrue, and that was unacceptable. Heated words exchanged. Shoving ensued. He took a swing at me. I ducked and enraged. I took him by the shoulders and threw him onto the ground. Head-locked him and rammed my fist into the top of his head a few times. A bit dazed now, I push him away and onto the floor, where he rested forward on his hands and knees. I stood up, aligned perpendicular to his body and with much strength I swiftly kicked him on the abdomen. Such a sick sound escaped his mouth. Coughing ensued. One of my parents emerged at the top of the stairs, aware of what had just happened, yelled at us to stop. Jake left by his own choice. He'd been beaten, the wind knocked out of him. There was nowhere to go from there but home.
I will never forget that. I wish that I had seen what he saw then. It would've saved me a lot of time looking for answers and reason in the wrong places. Three years later, I would lose my faith, never to regain. Jake went on to earn a Master's Degree in religious studies. I wandered off and now have settled upon something so outlandish and extraordinary that I don't talk to many people about it because of the startling revelations implied. Looks like that encounter may have affected us both more than we'll ever know.
That, or these are the musings of the slowly unwinding brain of Mr. Burns. Either way, it'll be interesting to see what happens.