Thursday, July 06, 2006

When Two Worlds Collide

Last Wednesday my world, worldview, religion and location collided with a man who had differing opinions than I. It was a beautiful collision.

Ben and I left Chicago a few days earlier than the rest of the family since we had to work. So, my aunt scheduled her IBM corporate taxi/limo service to transport us to the airport. They did not send a stretch limo, I am sorry to say, but another kind of fancy car like the one in the picture above.

Before our driver even introduced himself you knew he was not American. He looked Middle Eastern and had a fairly thick accent. His English was perfect as he opened our doors and welcomed us into the car. We chatted about small things for several miles until I decided to dig deeper.

"Bobo, what is your family heritage?" I questioned, "Where are you from?"
"Pakistan," he cautiously replied and then added, "Land of the Terrorists, you know?"
I smiled at him the in rearview mirror, "I am sure the country is beautiful and the people are wonderful."

Spiritually speaking, you could hear and see the cultural walls come crashing down. He began to talk and talk and talk. He tlked about his family. He told us about his life in Pakistan. He answered all of our curiousity about his first opinion of America.

Then I spoke the name of Jesus. He began talking about Muslims, Jews and Christians. He shared who Muslims really are and that they are just like Christians. Ben and I sat there, not agreeing with everything he was saying obviously, but soaking in all he was sharing. I pulled out the memo pad that I carry in my purse (just for these occasions) and began to take notes. They read:

*Very angry with Jews.
*Thinks Jews control the world. Christians and Muslims need to unite against Jews.
*Evil spirit from Cain cast into pigs- reason Muslims do not eat pigs. (Biblically there was no evil spirit from Cain cast into pigs)
*Adam was a god. (Not Biblical)
*Only three religions in the world and we all come from the same root: Jews, Muslims and Christians. Abraham is the father of all of us. The rest are pagans.
*They celebrate a holiday of when Abraham was asked to kill Ishmael and passed the test. (Not Biblical)
*Jesus spoke to Mary on the day he was born telling her that He was the Messiah. (Not Biblical)

These were just some of the notes that I took while he was talking. It was amazing to see how angry he was when he spoke of Jews. He was quite emphatic that Jews control the world. Most of the stories he shared with us from the Koran, that he said were the same as the Bible, were nothing like what the Bible says.

We were able to communicate soooo much about Jesus. As a team, Ben and I shared what God has shown us (using "shown" or "revealed" with Muslims is key for they rely on signs and visions.) through the Bible and in our life. It was amazing to listen to him talk. I have never been in a conversation with a Muslim for that long where they opened so much and answered so many questions.

If you think about it, please pray for Bobo. Pray that God will reveal Himself to him as the only way to heaven. He knows so much, but so much is blocking his heart to believing in the one true God. The conversation reminded me that I need to know more about Muslims than I do. I need to find Muslims to talk to and learn from. I also need to read the book on my shelf called: Healing the Broken Family of Abraham by Don McCurry. When I do, I'll be sure to post a book review!


Shannon said...

So cool Jaclyn!
Wish I could have been there!
Want to take Perspectives on Islam With me? Some time?

Kathie said...

Wow!!! What an opportunity the Lord gave you and Ben. What a wise woman you are to get out a pen and paper and take notes. AAAhh (that is a sigh)Jaclyn you are much younger than I am yet I glean so much wisdom from you. I praise God for putting you in Dawn's life and therefore mine as well. I will pray for Bobo (already have, actually). Thanks for telling us about this adventure.

Spanish Morning said...

I wish I could just sit at your feet and have you teach me all you know about witnessing/missions. God is amazing how He works through a couple of kids that just love Him!

Galant said...

We had a gentleman speak at our church this past Sunday who is the head of the denomination's middle eastern missions.

He is Iranian born and of course started out life as a Muslim. I found what he had to say very interesting, especially about the 'shame-based' culture from which he came and which presides in the middle east as well as in asia, especially Japan. That actually perked my ears up because Japan has had a special place in my heart for a while now.

He also mentioned that America was more 'guilt-based' but didn't elaborate which was disappointing because I wanted to hear more.

Jaclyn said...

I wish you could have been there too... and I will have to tell you more about it sometime soon. I would LOVE to take the class with you! I think it is way more expensive than the regular perspectives, though, isn't it? Anyway, I will see you Saturday, my dear!

I am honored that you say you have learned so much from me. Thank you, for it encourages me more than you can know! BUT, I have to praise God for who I am, for I am nothing without Him, His power and His grace. Also, I have learned all I know from other Godly people who took the time to teach me how to be more like Him. Without their example, I have no idea who I would be! So if I can pass along their wisdom to others and you become more Christ because of it, praise the Lord!

I say the same thing to you I just said to your mom. And between your comment and Galant's I am thinking I should REALLY post some more about my mission class and what I learned.

Ten years ago I never would have imagined that I would be so bold in spiritual conversation with people. Goodness, this is the girl who wouldn't even talk to people to ask where the bathroom was! What God has done in my life has truly been a miracle. He has drawn me out of my insecurities and taught me that HE is better. He is better for me and for the world. I heard a saying recently of, "God uses you where your deepest passion and the world's greatest need collide." How true that has been for me!

Ahhh... the mission class I took talked a lot about the differences between shame/honor and guilt/reward cultures. It is fascinating when you look at it. A missionary must realize what culture he comes from and who he is ministering to in the new culture, otherwise many people can be offended.

One of my professors did an class interaction to illustrate the difference. Try this:

Have someone walk infront of you and drop something. What would you say to them?

Let me know and then I will give you the rest of the story... :-P

Kathie said...

okay, Jaclyn :) If someone walked in front of me and dropped something, I would pick it up for them, or attempt to pick it up for them and say, "excuse me, you dropped this." What is the rest of the story? You have aroused my curiosity :)

Galant said...

I'd go to pick it up and let them know they dropped it. "Excuse just dropped this" - hold it out to them -

Hopefully I'd smile, and then I'd go on about my business.

Galant said...


Trin said...

here's how I had it explained to me once:

Try the ornament test: you're visiting me for tea (use some imagination, non-tea-drinkers) and break one of the ornaments on my mantlepiece. What do you do?

apologize and then start cleaning it up (flip the order if youre not present when it happens). Based on your reaction, may try to explain what exactly happened leading up to the breakage. Can't do much else, and excuses don't help anyone here.

Another Friend:
I think I'd mention it (assuming that that was part of the question--that maybe I did it when you weren't around, such that, if I didn't mention it, you might not notice immediately, so might not realize it was my fault), apologize, and ask if I could do anything to make up for it (get a replacement, or whatever). At least, I hope that's what I'd do... I don't think I could let it go too long without bringing it up (yeah, yeah, the guilt thing--that's what you are testing, right?).

It is testing the guilt thing, yes. Both of you react by trying to make amends and remove your guilt. In a shame-based culture you'd pretend it hadn't happened (to avoid shaming yourself), and if I noticed so would I (to avoid shaming my guest).

So back to Jaclyn's example, I think that means in a shame based culture, you might just leave it out of fear of shaming the person. But I'm not sure, it wasn't perfectly clear to me the first time around either ;).

Galant said...

Ah, well that does make some sense, although it would mean that shame only applies when someone else knows about it. Can you not carry shame around by yourself? Even if I 'got away' with something wouldn't you be shamed for not doing the honourable thing?