Saturday, April 14, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

It has been a crazy week here in Pasadena. I am smack-dab in the middle of a two-week intensive, meaning one of my classes has been shortened to every day, three hours a day, for two weeks. That means that on Mondays and Wednesdays I work from 7:30-2:30 then go to class from 3-6. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I am in class from 3-6 and 6:30-9:30. Then of course I come home to homework. It reminds me of my undergrad days of being super busy. Even though I am tired and burnt out, I do kind of like a busy life. 

In the midst of this class I have had a heavy and burdened heart. The class is Relief, Refugees, and Conflict and it is such a complicated issue. The suffering of people around the world, like in Somalia or Syria, is absolutely heart-breaking. The issues of relief aid adds even more heartache because the issue is nowhere near black and white. Relief and food aid can save lives, yes, but it can also contribute to the problem. It can aid in the continuing of war and conflict and the decisions that have to be made all have consequences. I am so glad that I can learn about the plight of the displaced people around the world, but I ask that we all pray for those displaced and those working in relief. Much of God's wisdom and love needs to be in these places. 

Another thing that has happened this week is a reconnecting with an old friend from high school. Though I come back exhausted from a long day we have been talking extensively about theology and the Bible. We are working through an extensive dialogue on authorship, inherency, and the reality of Jesus Christ as both God and man who physically came to earth and was killed to save us. This conversation has made me realize a few things:
1. Interfaith dialogue is always worth our time. Yes, I have papers to write, books to read, and this is the busiest week of graduate school, but if I have the opportunity to talk to someone about what I know to be truth, I will never be too busy for that. 

2  Listening and being respectful are of utmost importance in dialogue with people who believe differently than we do. When we are willing to communicate in a reciprocating conversation where we are not pushy but interested and honest, this is when we can take ahold of an opportunity. We can have a chance at sharing our faith and knowledge that would disappear if we do not have love and respect for the other.

3. Love, not judgement. I have been given a chance to take everything I am learning here in seminary and share it with someone who is in a search for the right answers. When I see the other person as a child of God, when I remember that what I know IS truth, I can love him with everything I am because I desperately want him to see who Jesus truly is. 

I hope this serves as an encouragement for you, my dear reader, to start engaging in open conversation with people who believe differently than you do. This conversation is challenging. It is making me look back on what I have learned and think through a lot of seriously valid points. I am tired its true, but if he wants to talk about these issues until the cows come home I will do it. Because earthly exhaustion is nothing compared to an eternity with our Savior. I will give up all the sleep and good grades in the world if it means that my friend receives enough of my knowledge and listening that he sees how much Jesus is waiting for his heart. 

I ask you to pray that I may be a knowledgable witness and that God will provide me with the articulation to accurately speak into his heart and show him truth. And if you are not a praying person, I will pray that someone comes into your life who will have the courage to begin dialogue with you. Because for the Christian, talking about Jesus and treating you with respect should be of utmost importance. 

1 comment:

  1. ...i am praying...for both of you...i love you...elaine/ccww