7/17/16 Dhiren about 35
If smoking has any redeeming value, at least it causes people to pause in the middle of their busy day and perhaps do some reflective thinking. Today in a parking lot I found a man on a smoke break at his car, either just through with his shopping or on his way into the store. He turned out to be Dhiren, from India. He is Hindu, but very open to discussing and learning about other religions. We talked about the purpose of the many different gods in Hinduism, which he described as being there for blessings in different areas of life. “There is a god for businesses, so if you need your business blessed, you make an offering to that god” he explained. Of course, each of these gods have a name, and I found it interesting that as I explained the Gospel to him, Dhiren wanted to know the name of the God of Christianity. “I know Jesus is God’s son…” he said, “…but what is God the father’s name?” Moses, influenced by the polytheistic household of Pharaoh, wanted to know the same thing at the burning bush, and God simply told him “I AM who I AM”. Why the vague and all-encompassing self-reference? I wonder if it’s because a specific name can be too limiting and defining to describe God. On the other hand, the many different gods of Hinduism all have names, perhaps in order for people to distinguish between them and establish the boundaries of their areas of influence. After all, isn’t that what is attractive about idol worship, that it give’s man the power to limit and define one’s god? Yet for all the vagueness of the “I AM” identity, through the Son we are commanded to refer to God by another, much more personal name: “Our Heavenly Father”. This is what I told Dhiren that we as Christians have the privilege to refer to God as, and I went on to testify about the joy of knowing God in a right relationship through faith in Jesus. This is our privilege, a privilege we can have the joy of sharing with all those who will listen. Maybe even those on a smoke break in the middle of a busy parking lot.