dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish

7.23.2008

Reverence

I have a friend I met in Spanish class over two years ago. We've kept up with each other over the following semesters, and have had many good philosophical and theological conversations: the nature of sin, the mercy of God... whether Jesus was divine, or merely a prophet. You see, my friend is a Muslim. I am a Christian.

We hadn't seen each other in over a year (he finished an accelerated undergraduate program in two years and moved on to medical school this past year), so I contacted him last month to inquire after how he was doing and whether he'd be interested in getting together. He was, so we did. After catching up for a little while, our conversation turned back to the Bible and to the Koran, to Jesus and to Mohammad. Four hours later, toward the end of our conversation, he told me that he would be willing to read the Bible if I gave him one, and that he would give me a Koran to read. We could give each other assigned readings and meet to talk them over every week.

We met again today, talked about divine inspiration, and exchanged gifts. Before we parted, my friend said that he'd be careful to wash his hands before reading the Bible, to not set the Bible on the ground, to not take the Bible into the bathroom--all of the things that Muslims consider to be proper in handling a holy book. "Is there anything else I need to know?" he asked.

I thanked him, and I told him that I would likewise be careful not to disrespect the gift he'd given me. "But the most important thing," I told him, "is your heart in going to read the book. Ask God to help you understand it."

No, the outward aspect of how we physically handle a book doesn't equate true reverence. But it does tend to reflect it. I would not spit on or throw the Bible, because it is the Word of God. But am I nonetheless careless with it? The pages are not so important, but for the words on the pages. The words on the pages are not so important, but for the One of Whom they speak. Do I approach it and handle it with proper reverence because yes, here in my hands I hold, and now read, the self-revelation of God? How do I handle the Bible with my hands? How do I approach the Bible with my heart?

I'd appreciate your prayers--for my friend and for myself. Lord willing, we will be having a number of conversations about what we read in the coming weeks. I'm excited and hopeful. All of my attempts at logical and convincing arguments cannot bring him to faith in Christ. Neither will his reading of Bible merely through human understanding. But he's reading. He's reading the Gospels, the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. God speaks through His Word.

[I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, but didn't quite have time to finish it and post it. It looks as though we're done with our weekly discussions, but your prayers are still very much appreciated.]

Labels:

4 Comments:

Blogger The Stranger said...

Sonic, know the Lord is pleased with all attempts to honestly spread His gospel to all. And only the Holy Spirit can cause the seeds planted to grow. Therefore pray and be full of faith to see what occurs in his life. Sow on faithful soldier.

7/24/2008 12:09 AM

 
Blogger Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Sweet, dude! Thanks for sharing your evangelical efforts. I shall be in prayer!

7/24/2008 1:04 AM

 
Blogger Megan said...

That's an encouraging story. Though it didn't have one of those hollywood dramatic endings... you never know when the seeds that have been sown will sprout up some day.
Thanks for your example and your faithfulness to share the Gospel.

7/24/2008 1:48 PM

 
Anonymous Suzanne Eller said...

I think we do treat the Bible too casually, myself included. I love that you are open to talking faith and confident to be able to share a loving God with your friend.

7/26/2008 12:33 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home