March 4, 2015
Have you ever mulled over what you wish you had said, only to come up with perhaps the “perfect” response DAYS later? My husband and I were having dinner a couple of nights ago in one of those places where it seems you become a part of the conversation with the strangers at the table next to you more so than with your own dinner partner. Or at least overhearing their conversation is nearly impossible. Anyway, when the couple began talking about God, my ears perked up, curiosity getting the best of me.
The young man was saying, “Don’t you just love when fundamentalists use the Bible as the basis for their argument? When they go around in circles with, ‘but the Bible says...’. That’s when I say, but what if I doubt the Bible is really the word of God? After all, the Bible says I can have hundreds of wives, or commit genocide on people from other races. What about that?” To which his female friend agreed and they continued to talk about the vengeance of God. It was difficult to determine if they did not believe in God, or if they were just wanting to poke fun at certain denominations.
Either way, the conversation was painful to hear. And I fought the urge to defend the Bible, and God. But not having any relationship with these two, I wondered if anything I might have said would have helped or simply fallen on deaf ears. So I did what I knew I could do, and I prayed for them, letting the opportunity to interject pass.
It was later I remembered something David Lose (at least that is who I think it is) has written about. When he has met those who doubt or are struggling, he has asked them to describe the God they have trouble believing in. Often God, as they describe God, is difficult for David to believe in, as well, and he has said something like, “that is not God who I believe in, either.” This opens the door for conversation about the God of grace, love and forgiveness.
Wonder how that conversation may have gone? Suppose it’s just another round of wishing I had been bolder (see Day #160 about my struggle with being bold).