from Shane's Muslims
A pastor friend and I were sitting in Chick-fil-A in Muncie, Indiana, enjoying our waffle fries and conversation when a worker swung by and kindly asked if we needed anything else. His name tag said Rashid and I guessed he might be from Africa. . . and likely Muslim.
I asked him where he was from and he said, “Right here in Muncie.”
Was there the slightest hint of accent there?
“What about your family? Where did they come from?”
“Really, we’ve always been in Muncie.”
“Oh, I just wondered because of your name. Rashid is often a Muslim name.”
“Yeah, I don’t know why my parents gave me this name. They just did.”
Number One: Muslim or not, Rashid is a person and therefore worthy of a conversation.
Number Two: Why did I initiate a conversation with Rashid? Because I’m inclined to be intrigued by Muslims and on the look out for potential chats and friendships. . .and, truth be told, because I really wanted to impress the pastor I was dining with!
Number Three: Why am I tell you this? So that you’ll say, “Ymmm, I’m going to get some Chick -fl-A this weekend.” Also to let you know my motives are rarely pure. That mistakes happen. But that people are valuable and we have the opportunity, maybe responsibility, to try to look like Jesus and connect with them. Not everyone - that would kill us! - but the ones God gives grace and nudges for.
It’s possible (I’m not saying certain or even likely, but possible) that if you take a risk and initiate a conversation this weekend, you’ll be the answer to someone’s heartfelt prayer. (Tweet this.)
It’s also possible you’ll misread the situation, mess up, and make a mistake. It’s worth the risk. Grace abounds. Let’s do this!