Last Friday (my day off) my wife and I spent most of our day hanging out at an outdoor shopping mall in the Silicon Valley. We didn’t do much shopping, but we did a lot of reading, talking, drinking lattes, and chatting with a very nice young couple that we met while sitting around a plaza and enjoying a beautiful late summer day in California.
This young couple lived near the mall and had walked over with their five month old son. They said it was something they did on most Fridays.
Being that we like kids and all (We better… we now have ten grandchildren!), we got into a conversation about their son. That led to talking about the crazy pace of life and work and the ridiculous price of housing in the Bay Area; and race cars (because this young husband owns and races cars; and religion.
Yes we got into a conversation about religion.
Our new friends told us they are Muslims. Since we have other Muslim friends, we knew enough about their faith to talk about some of their spiritual practices, including prayer. They told us that she is committed to praying five times a day, but he only prays twice a day since much of her prayers are for others, so he felt she had them both covered.
At one point in the conversation he told me he felt all religions are basically the same. I’ve heard that a lot, especially in recent years.
Since I’m eager to help others connect with God, and our they had shared their thoughts about religion with me, I figured it was an opening for me to share my view.
One Focuses on DO the other DONE
I said something along these lines – “When I look at religions, I see them basically falling into two groups. Most religions teach that if a person wants a relationship with God, they need to do a lot of good things and keep on doing them. But on the other side is the belief that a relationship with God is not based on what we do, but on what God did for us.”
Since he still seemed interested in what I was saying, I kept going…
“I believe God made it possible for everyone to have a relationship with Him, in spite of our sin, through what Jesus did when he gave his life for us. That is what Christianity teaches.”
Let’s Talk Again
The spiritual side of the conversation didn’t go any further because it was time for their little guy to eat. But before we left them they said they would be watching for us on Fridays in the future. And we said we would watch for them too.
Had our spiritual conversation continued, I was ready to share more about God’s amazing love story – His relentless pursuit of a relationship with us.
When the opportunity comes along, I love pulling out my phone and using the 15 Bible StoryBoard pictures to share God’s story. The story that’s woven through the entire Bible.
A Spiritual Connection
I’ve found that Bible StoryBoards has a special connection with our Muslim friends. The first few StoryBoards – Beginnings, Sin, Chosen People (which focuses on Abraham) – are significant teachings in the Islamic faith too.
I hope for you the same things I hope for myself. That we would all be ready – while hanging out at shopping plazas or wherever we go – to share the story of the Bible with those who need to know.
We had a great time last Friday, in part because we had the joy of sharing our faith with others.