Sunday, December 26, 2010
So this afternoon I had one of the most fruitful and interesting spiritual conversations with one of my italian friends. The funny thing about it all is that it seems to have stemmed or been spurred on by another event that involved a lot of sin, anger and hurt between two believers, myself and another. It's an event that is yet to be resolved but I find it utterly intriguing how the Lord works and the ways He chooses to do things. I mean really I've been praying for this friend for about 3 years now and though we've had countless spiritual conversations few end in a place where I feel my friend has actually understood any more about the Gospel or christianity in general. But yesterday and tonight that was different we talked about how christians aren't perfect people and they aren't even always nice people. I told Him it's somethign that makes me sad but that is part of the brokeness of the world. He remarked that he'd found out two of his co-workers religious beliefes. One is orthodox and htey have a 5 hour church service while hte other is muslim and is required to pray for 5 mins. 5 times a day. My friend was like religion is so strange it seems just another thign that divides people and can't it just be an internal thing, personal. I was able to talk with Him about how yes it is personal. That's the difference between religion and a relationship. We talked about how I long to foster this relationship I have with God in me but that doesn't mean I am perfect. Another friend added in that we "hang out" with other Christians for fellowship and when the godly community is functioning as it should it is able to point people to Christ, to point each other to Christ. But when it's not functioning and sin has entered in then it's messy. I told him in regards to the ungly event I'm a part of right now that if anyone outside had seen it that they would have been hard pressed to see God. He was like what but how are people enlightened by God acting like that. My same question!! We talked of how yes we are not perfect now but that one day we will be. We are selfish beings now but striving to become more like Christ and because we have Christ in us we are often times able to see right and wrong, sin, etc and that as my relationship with Christ others can see God through me. He thought this was interesting because he says we're all selfish and really God's the only non selfish one who really cares about people. In the end though I believe the Lord was working in Him. It's the first time I believe he has ever really understood that it's all about a personal relationship with Christ because yes we are dirty, nasty, ugly nad sinful people who need a redeemer. It made me smile and marvel at God all the more. How could he possibly use the sheer ugliness of what has been happening lately in my life to bring my friend just a tad bit more understanding of the Gospel. I mean really, God, couldn't you have found a less ridiculous way, a less hurtful way for me or something. Yet I praise Him that he is ever so slowly and gently bringing this friend closer to Christ. I long more than anythign for this person to know the Lord. If you think about it please pray for these two situations the messy ugly one and the spiritual one going on with my friend.