Saturday, May 17, 2008

Breaking through my prejudice
with new friends


Some of you will remember my post back in October 07 about the fact that I've had some prejudice towards Muslims. I'm just being flat out honest that although I've truly never had a prejudice bone in my body toward any other race, or people group, (and in fact have always hated any kind of prejudice like the plague!!!) I have had issues with this group of people because of 9/11. I won't belabor this point here because I fully discussed it in my prior post. Suffice it to say if I even saw an Arab or stereotpyical Muslim-looking person in the store, I'd switch to the next aisle over. If I was seated on a plane near them I always had something in my purse that I planned to bonk them on the head with as hard as possible if they made any false moves toward me or anybody else. Seriously. I know that's terrible, but I'm just keepin' in real here.

Well, I realize this is wrong, and I need to change. I understand that all Muslims are not the same and besides that, they all need Jesus just as we all do. I'm passionate about evangelism and discipleship but I have to be honest with you until God began dealing with my heart on this, I didn't care about this group of people and would laugh when people would make jokes about annihilating them. I came to the point where I realize how wrong this is and need to ask the Lord to forgive me and give me opportunity to be a friend, and a light to Muslims.

The Lord has done the most wonderful thing for me. He brought some people who are quite possibly Muslims into my life for me to befriend. This is a big step for me. Months ago I had confided to Pastor Lisa about my thoughts and feelings on this issue and the need for a breakthrough in my life. She's someone I can talk to about stuff like this. I know she's been praying for a God-opportunity to happen, and here is is.

I met the most amazing family. They are from Bangladesh. I have been told that 80% of people from Bangladesh are Muslims with the rest of the 20% mostly being Buddist or Hindu and a few Christians. Chances are, my new friends are Muslim. (Even if not they are in another group of people who need Jesus - and here I am to introduce them to Him.)

I was out walking Thursday night and Lisa was not with me this time so I wasn't in conversation, I was just walking and listening to worship music and praying inside my head. That's when I saw them up ahead on the sidewalk. Yes, I'm stereotyping but they looked sorta like what I'm normally very afraid of. Immediately the Lord spoke to me and said, "take your headphones off, run up and catch up with those people and introduce yourself." I have gotten used to listening immediately when I know it's the voice of God when He speaks to me like that and not wait or hesitate. So I took off and started running toward them and caught up. They were a very distinguished looking older couple and I immediately flashed a friendly smile and introduced myself. They seemed overwhelmed in a good way. We walked back home the entire way together. I found out the husband is the newly retired CEO of an airline. (He gave me his card to prove it although I would not doubt his sincerety.) Yep, he ran the airline for his nation. Wow-ee.

We have walked together for two nights in a row now. I have not pressured them in the least or even told them I am a Christian yet, I have just befriended them. They referred in our conversation to the "Almighty" and even said they "thanked the Almighty for introducing us". I am not sure why they worded things that way. I had not told them God told me to introduce myself. I am not sure yet if their Almighty is my Almighty if you know what I mean. Gosh, wouldn't it be funny if we are talking about the same One True Almighty God? Realize, either way it's a breakthrough for me already. In obeying the Lord, I have felt the chains of fear and anger toward this group of people break off of me.

We're going to find out more about what my new friends believe as the days unfold because would you believe that although we've only walked two nights together, they have already invited me to Bangladesh to visit them? They are here for a few months but they are going back. Today they asked for my phone number and asked if it's okay that they call me. My next step is to have them in my home for dinner. Yes, eventually we sure are going to talk about THE Almighty God. :-) But I am wanting to just be their friend first...genuinely love them, not act like I'm ramming something down their throats.

Is this amazing or what? God is working in me. I feel genuine love for these people. I'm not afraid anymore. I really want to be their friend and quite honestly I think they might teach me more than I will teach them.

Please pray for me that I would be able to connect even more with my new friends and that the Lord would direct our steps. Whether they are Muslim, Buddist, Hindu, or not even sure what they believe at all...I pray that God would work through me to show Him His love.

1 comment:

Tara Sloan said...

I'm prouod of you girlie! I believe you'll be adding a Bangladesh stamp to your passport!!!!