Friday, April 9, 2010
A Christian Girl & A Muslim Man Have a Talk
After many cold gray days, today the sun decided to shine! And not just the clever English sun that can shine without actually giving any tangible warmth, but full on spring-is-here-to-stay, shed-that-sweater-you’ve-been-living-in, warm sunshine! I had some errands to run in town and decided to walk instead of take the bus. Bird song traveled with me the entire way and smiles kept creeping into the corners of my mouth. It isn’t a general custom here to acknowledge others on your path, but today I took a foreigner’s license and greeted them all. Some acknowledged my presence and others just looked awkward, but today was a day for smiles and helloes.
After my chores were through and I was headed to the bus stop to go home, I decided to stop in at a little café for a cup of coffee and a lamb somosa, which almost all cafes here sell for cheap (I love being so close to India!). The only bill I had was a miserable looking £5 note that had been torn strait down the middle and then taped back together and had a myriad design of other rips and tattered edges. I had received it days before as cash from the grocery store, but didn’t notice its miserable condition until I got home. I was worried that it might not be acceptable as payment anymore, so before I ordered what I wanted at the café, I showed him my £5 note and asked him if he could accept it.
He was visibly astonished. He laughed and said of course he could accept it and only marveled at my “honesty” and “morality.” When he found out I was from California, he was even more impressed. While he heated up my somosa and poured my cup of coffee, we fell into a discussion about morals, how people treat each other, and what that communicates about them and society as a whole.
As our discussion lengthened and started widening, he told me he was a Muslim and what his faith said about issues such as these. I told him I was very interested to know how he felt about Christians, as I was a Christian and haven’t had the chance to talk to very many Muslims. This furthered our conversation even more and it was really neat.
I felt the Holy Spirit with me, guiding my questions and answers, and giving me Scripture to give and not in a “let me just shove the Bible down your throat every chance I get” kind of way, but just naturally coming out as we compared what he knew of the Koran and what I knew of the Bible and what that meant to us and how that influenced the way we lived our lives.
At the end of our conversation, I shook his hand; a Christian girl from California and a Muslim man from Morocco. My prayer last night was that I could love Jesus and love others more. This was a wonderful gift moment from God for me to love another human being, even though his religion and the implications of his religion scare me speechless. But today I wasn’t speechless. Today Islam was a person that I could show love. And perhaps there will be more times in the future to stop in for a coffee and a talk.