Last week at work I was, possibly for the first time in my life, asked directly what I believed. The ten-year-old Muslim girl threw me off guard when she asked me if I was a Muslim. I replied that I wasn't. She then prodded and asked if I went to church. Finally, she looked me directly in the eyes and asked,
"Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?"
Wow. Never has any adult asked me this so directly, and coming from a child I was, to say the least, a little unprepared. I replied "yes," to which she boldly responded, "well I don't believe that God had any wives or children."
At this point a million thoughts ran through my mind: do I engage her in this conversation and explain the trinity and the details of my beliefs (which I was probably unprepared to eloquently do), or do I respect the rules of keeping religious talk out of the workplace? What would happen with whatever I said - how would she respond? Would I get reprimanded for sharing this information? I wondered how many other people she asked this and what came of those conversations.
But what came out of my mouth was, "what do you believe?" To which she didn't respond and then, to not make her dwell in the awkwardness, I asked what other beliefs she knew about.
We talked a little about various religions and beliefs people held, but before we could get into anything of significance, it was time to leave. I really cannot stop thinking about this small encounter. I am sure I will see this girl again, and my prayer is that she will continue to be curious and to ask questions. I pray also that God will give me the right words to say and also for the other people she will most likely talk with. Regardless of any silly mistakes on my part, I am sure God has His heart and eye on her and all things are working together for His good.
This encounter was also a great blessing for me, because it made me start thinking seriously about what I believe and why. Various religions hold true to their roots and there are some things they do not compromise. As Christians, we should never compromise the reality of Christ and the power of His death and resurrection, both what it means in our lives and what it means in the larger sense for the world. I am no theological scholar - but I know it is important to acknowledge my brokenness and accept the healing and restoration that comes from Christ alone. Whenever I have strayed from this truth, my spirit strongly suffered and my identity became out of whack. My identity is tied up with Christ, and apart from Him I am nothing.
I hope this Easter is full of meditation and focus on what Easter is truly about.
Here are some songs I am listening to this week, in preparation for Easter: