I don't know how long it took for Greg House to finally allow me to converse him. I knew it would be unlikely that he would ever respond to someone like me- and I had pretty much given up ever having the chance.
I am not worthy of this dialogue and I feel very unqualified to succeed- I'm not even a great representative of my faith. I often chided myself over my lack of prayer and I'm not one to fast (which is self convicting), which made Dr House's response more than a shock.
Of course- you can play endless mind games with House- is this really him? Is this a set-up for a take down? Is he intrigued or is he just going to finally let me have it with a venomous loathing? Why did I finally get through? What will be the medium of communication? Is this 5 seconds? 5 minutes? 5 years?
Many of you will ask why I chose to reach out to him. And I don't know why. Is there a part of me that wants to be significant in a larger sense? Is it just another tribute to my selfishness and pride?
Deep down though- I feel honorable motives. Dr Greg House ultimately represents a world view that has connection with a large segment of power players in our culture. A large number of people are drawn to him- partly for entertainment- partly for intrigue. We think about him and empathize for him. But I also think there is a high regard of respect because he honestly endures pain, both physical and deeper wounds of the heart. Yes, he hides and uses pretense- like we all do- but he is honest in his openness of deceit. And the transparency only exposes how deep and complicated the human heart is and why relationships are tangled and intertwined in 'soap opera' type narratives. Life is indeed stranger than fiction.
Dr House is humanity and all humans need exposure to the gospel. A gospel that is hidden and perverted by all three enemies- flesh, culture, and evil.
My iphone buzzed- a text- "Your persistence has annoyed me long enough. How do I press CANCEL?"
I spent a good half day pondering it. He knew who I was. He responded. He had a large number of options- lawyers, police, hospital administration, changing numbers- but he responded in person.
My olive branch had been simple but continuous.
'Dr House, I am a football coach and Bible teacher, and have admired you from a distance. You have a articulated a strong view that God does not exist. I would love a short window of time to challenge that worldview- just one on one. I desire no publicity and it is unlikely I will persuade you- but I want to at least offer a friendly back and forth. I am your ally not your enemy."
I would change the wording from time to time to indicate that it was not a 'cut and paste' deal. One time I just texted, 'I'm not a robot- just thought about you today- and look forward to our conversation."
The weird thing is that he never replied. Had he texted even one time- 'Stop bothering me'- I would have stopped. He never texted 'How did you get my cell?'
So as long as there was no response, I just kept it up. Not everyday- no real pattern- just a quiet prayer that he was reading and deleting- and that maybe I would get a shot.
Now, one last weird premonition. I feel like he had been checking me out on the internet. I keep track of my page views and visits on my blog and website. There is a lot that can be found out about me just on a google search.
And for a week or so I have noticed increased traffic on my posts tagged 'apologetics'. This is not that uncommon- but the search source was a .edu and then came the text.
That evening I responded.
"Thank you for the response. I hope to prove to be a man of my word. All you EVER have to do is say STOP and I will never text you again. But the best thing you could do is have an initial conversation with me and then decide if this exercise has any benefit for us."
And now, I just wait- intrigued- and playing mind games. Whose voice is talking to me right now?- "You are such a hypocrite and self righteous fool- there are plenty of other people to reach out to and try to impress with your half-wit logic- but you are spending time on this dead end road."
I just push back in my thoughts- 'Nobody is hurt by this. I'm just following a heart hunch- which can be dangerous- but God can close any door he chooses. He can open them too."