sharing my faith isn’t that scary
I headed to the ‘Solo Cruiser’ gathering hoping to meet some other people my age doing the same thing, hopping on a cruise and heading to Alaska.
Turns out, no one my age is doing that, go figure. The solo cruisers were mostly in their 50’s and 60’s and boy were they grouchy. A high maintenance group demanding certain types of treatment. The first night at the gathering, I laughed aloud as they made their demands as to how the group should function. I thanked the lady from the crew who was hosting and sympathized with her role.
I met one guy, Anthony. We shook hands, he was from Toronto. I congratulated him on the Raptors winning the title, basketball is most always my go-to connection with someone. I don’t tell them what I do for a living but I can certainly hold any type of hoops conversation.
That night, I went to dinner. ‘Dinner for 1 please.’
I sat down, ordered some crusted flounder and cream of cauliflower soup and pulled out a book to read.
As I sat, I heard someone calling out, ‘John!, John!’ I started to look up and then I stopped myself halfway up, ‘no one’s calling your name,’ I told myself, ‘just read your book.’ The voice continued and got closer and I looked up again, it was Anthony.
‘Can I join you?,’ he asked.
He sat down and we started talking about life, why we were on the ship, what are hopes were and then about work and family.
He told me that he was born in Toronto but his family was from China.
I mentioned that I had been to Chengdu and Tibet and so we talked about that.
Then he said, ‘no way you’ve been to Africa too?’
‘I actually spent 10 years serving and visiting there in the summers.’
We started talking about orphans, the history of Zimbabwe, human trafficking.
He asked why I went. He asked about what kind of church I went to.
He had grown up in a catholic school but said he was agnostic.
We talked politics and faith.
Disaster areas, in theory, so we’re told.
But I loved it.
I don’t mind talking politics, I grew up in the ‘conservative’ Midwest and live in the ‘liberal’ northwest. I can relate to many.
And I love talking about faith.
I used to talk about faith in a way of having answers. For me, that makes faith less appealing to share.
Now, I admit the pitfalls in the Christian faith, it’s concerning role in politics, the harm it has caused many. But in that, a door is often opened and you are less threatening. And I still get to express what is most important, the heart of Jesus which is faith, hope, and love.
When asked about my faith, I let others know that mine is about love and serving others. It’s hard to argue with someone about that.
And in reality, it is that simple, because I don’t have all the answers but I do have a model of how to love, Jesus.