Today, I was on my way to work. I stopped for gas. The man behind the counter of the convenient store looked like he was of middle Eastern descent.
He sold many items in his store. Knick Knacks. Trinkets. There were many posters for sale. Some framed pictures, as well. I noticed several pictures of Jesus.
I was a little surprised, I guess. I wondered if the man behind the counter owned the store. I wondered if he placed the pictures of Jesus on the wall.
I think that when we see people of middle eastern descent, we automatically assume that they are Muslim. I think sometimes when we see them, we assume that they hate us.
We assume that, as Christians, and as Americans they all hate us. Well not all of us may make these assumptions, but i think it is quite natural if you do.
Today, I felt Jesus nudging me to be kind to the man behind the counter. The man of middle Eastern descent. Don't get me wrong, I'm kind to everyone. But, I felt like I was supposed to take things a step further and perform an act of kindness.
So I paid for my gas, went back to my car and got a little book I bought several weeks backs.
It was a small book. It didn't cost much. It was called, 199 promises of God.
So I put a copy of a letter that I printed from fathersloveletter.com inside the book, I waltzed back in with a smile and I gave the man his book.
I didn't particularly want to do this. I imagined the man cursing me. Spitting insults.
But no, that didn't happen.
I gave him the book. I smiled and simply said...."I bought these books a few weeks ago, I wanted you to have one." He very warmly, very kindly smiled back at me.
He didn't look at me funny or with vehement eyes.
He appeared thankful.
Hmmmm. That really got me thinking. Jesus wanted me to be kind and show an act of love to a man that was very likely Muslim. I know that Jesus loves everyone. Every race. Every religion.
Imagine if Christians began to show love for people they believed to be Muslim.
Imagine how many things and perceptions could change.
What if a Christian man or woman gave the young Usama Bin Laden a Bible and a hug and said, "Hey, I love you kid." I know that you aren't being raised Christian, but we love you. We welcome you into our home. Into our church. Into our life."
Hmmm. If people reached out in great ways, the very course of life could be altered. Could things have turned out differently with this man if Christians had reached out to him during the course of his childhood, teen years, and even adulthood?
But I thought it was just very, sorry for lack of a better word I'm actually going to say "cool."
It was very cool of Jesus to use me to reach out to this man.
Jesus, you are cool.