12/22/10 Tony and Michelle, early 20's
Walking into a busy fast-food restaurant or grocery store I don't often know who I will end up in a conversation with, but as I parked outside a Burger King today I could see the only customers inside were a young couple, so I prayed specifically for them before going inside to talk. They agreed to answer my questions, saying, "Knock yourself out" as I pulled up a chair. I caught their secret questioning looks at each other as I did, so I introduced myself and said "I know this doesn't happen every day, right?" It's usually awkward like this at first but we were soon fully engaged in a great conversation. My first question was "What do you think is the meaning of Christmas?" Their answer - "being with family and being cheerful." We laughed about times when these two goals aren't always compatible, and this helped them open up more as I asked what they thought the religious meaning of Christmas is and if they had any spiritual beliefs. Tony looked like a fierce warrior with his multiple tattoos and piercings and said he does not believe in God because he cannot believe in what he cannot see or measure. Michelle described herself as a Christian, but doesn't believe in taking it very seriously. Tony couldn't understand how there can be one God with so many religions, and what about religious wars and evolution? I listened to all his questions and then picked a few to talk about, showing him some reasonable answers before moving on to allow the law work with their consciences. I was able to explain the full gospel - both law and grace - because I kept reminded them that I was just explaining what the Bible teaches and that I am aware that they may not believe it. I challenged Michelle, who felt that her sins "really aren't serious" ,to put her faith in Christ rather than her own goodness and I gave Tony a book by Mark Cahill that answers various questions that non-believers have. As I left he said "That was the most intelligent conversation I've had in a long time!" That was encouraging to hear, though I know I shouldn't take it too seriously.