Bungling to Blessing

from Shane's Muslim Connect

When my Lyft driver’s name popped up as “Noor,” I was pretty excited and a little surprised! I was aware that the name means “light” but had only known it as a girl’s name - and the driver was clearly a dude! Well, lesson number one. 

We hopped in and headed out. Like a good driver, Noor asked where we’re from. In my mind that gives me a free pass to ask him back. 

“I’m from here, but you mean where my family is from? From Afghanistan.”

To which I replied, “Ah, wonderful. I really wish I knew some Dari.”

Well, that uncorked some emotion. And lesson number two! 

It was an honest blunder for me. I was trying to show that I at least knew the name of a language in Afghanistan, trying to establish some rapport. Showing off! 

Noor gave me a quick overview of the history of Afghanistan, the influence of Wahhabism, and the importance of calling the language by its real name, Farsi. 

While I lack sufficient background to put his words into proper context, it was fascinating to hear Noor’s views and to sense the passion that accompanied them. I also got confirmation that Farsi-speaking Afghans celebrate Nowruz. That’s motivating me to help host a party come late March! 

The conversation had to end when we reached our destination. As we piled out of the minivan, Noor leaned over and said, “Not one in a hundred people care to hear about Afghanistan. Thank you.” 

Here’s the point. God used my bumbling, self-aggrandizing efforts to accomplish at least two things: Increasing my understanding of the Afghan immigrant world and blessing one dear representative of it. Yay for God, Noor, and me!