One evening, Carl and I and some close friends took the light-rail train to downtown Denver. Soon we were strolling down the busy cobblestone streets, chatting and laughing on the way to our favorite restaurant.
While our hearts were united in conversation about our lives and the new challenges we were facing, I noticed a sweet-looking Muslim woman, modestly dressed and wearing a hijab. My heart immediately raced with excitement and my feet seemed to carry me without effort away from my husband and friends and to this lone traveler. I stepped up beside her and smiled. “Hi, how are you?”
“Fine, she replied.
“Are you Jordanian, by any chance?”
“No, I’m Iraqi,” she said with a bit of surprise in her voice.
“Welcome to America,” I responded, not really knowing if she needed welcoming or not.
I’m not sure why, but my heart was moved with compassion for her, and I added, “I’m so sorry for all the turmoil your country has experienced over the years.”
To my surprise, she immediately said, “And I’m so sorry for your soldiers who had to suffer in my country.”
Wow, when was the last time I’d heard something like that? We both agreed that we longed for peace and that God was the answer. My new friend’s eyes twinkled with a warmth that I’ve rarely seen. It seems a soft answer and a gentle spirit really do unleash a floodgate of hearts poured out.
I rejoined our group after a few more minutes of conversation with this dear woman, and I thought, Why don’t I always initiate conversation in this way with strangers? I pray the next person to meet this lady will take one more step forward in the long and often unknown chain of sharing Christ’s love!
This story, told by Chris, is included in Carl’s new book, Muslims, Christians, and Jesus: Understanding the World of Islam and Overcoming the Fears that Divide Us.
Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash