Thursday, July 23, 2015

Open minds lead to open hearts

So this is a story of Zoe . . . and connecting.

I was in a soccer game on the beach and subbed out for a few minutes.  About the same time, a young lady named Zoe was walking up the beach.  She had come to know a few of the students I was working with so I chit-chatted with her for a couple of minutes before we started to talk about her faith journey.  She was very forthcoming with the fact that she was a Wiccan.

Incidentally, I love talking about Witchcraft . . . very few people know what it is really about - even some supposed witches.   That is embarrassing . . . when you have to correct a witch about what Wicca is.  But Zoe knew her stuff.  So we had a little conversation about her faith journey.  We got to the point where she said she didn't believe in God.  She believes that God doesn't exist - the universe is all there ever was or all there ever will be.  

I let her words digest for a second and then asked, "Do you mind if I challenge you on that a little bit?" 

She looked at me strange and said, "sure."  I'm not sure if anyone ever really asked her permission to challenge her theology.

I wiped the sand in front of me making a smooth surface to draw in the sand.  "If the universe is all there ever was and has existed for eternity (Drawing out a line), then how do we ever get to the point of now?"  (I put a dot on the line).

Basically I was asking if the universe has existed for eternity - and eternity never ends - then how did eternity lead to now?  In other words an eternity would have to have passed before we could experience this moment - but it hasn't.  The universe had to have had a starting point if we are here now.

She thought about it for a second and half-smiled.  She nodded her head - "makes sense."  So I continued . . . "Okay, so we agree.  The universe had a starting point.  Now everything we know that has a start was started by something beyond it.  It can't start itself.  Kittens don't pop out of the air - they come from cats.  Everything that has a beginning comes from something else."

Same reaction from Zoe:  thinking . . . and then half-smile . . . "yeah, that makes sense."

"Seems a Wiccan like you and a Christ-follower like me have a few things in common," I said.  She smiled thoughtfully.  I left it there because it really is a lot to think through.  I was grateful for her at least thinking and not getting upset at a challenging thought.  She has since connected with a few of the other students and may come to one of the campuses at our church in the next week or so.  Whether she does or not it was just a gift to be able to share and listen.

This gets lost too easily in our sound byte world.  Donald Trump can be fun to listen to, but real understanding comes from opening your mind.  That happens with humility and love.

Wherever you are, whoever you are - whether you are a believer or not - you too have something to share or learn from people if you take a moment.  Everyone has something you can learn from - even if you don't agree with them.  The minute we learn that we can go on to become wise - learning from everyone we meet and every situation in which we find ourselves.  It all starts with a little humility, some love and a conversation.

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