12/11/09 Amal, about 30
I had a lot of groceries to find and decided to give out the million dollar "Will you go to heaven?" / Are you a good person?" tracts as I pushed my shopping cart. I just kept them in my hand and gave them to anyone who happened to cross my path, without pushing real hard for a conversation. I talked briefly with most people as I pointed out the questions on the back, but since I wasn't really taking the initiative to start a deeper conversation they generally continued on with their shopping. I am reminded that as Christians we are the ones that God rightfully expects to take the initiative in reaching out to others and it will be a long wait if we expect them to reach out to us. One very professional looking young woman told me that of course she is a good person, since she is a Muslim. Amal was not wearing traditional Muslim clothes such as a head scarf, and she told me that since she is a schoolteacher she is excused from her obligation to pray five times a day. She said she falls short of keeping the Ten Commandments and knows she will be accountable for this on judgment day. I told her that one major difference between Christians and Muslims is that Christians understand that there is a price for forgiveness - God's justice will be served - and that we believe that only Jesus could pay that price on the cross. It was more of an informative conversation rather than a debate, and Amal was appreciative of this approach.