Community Cafe was just coming to an end when he walked in. Triumph, victory etched across his face. Eye's gleaming. A smile of conquest. "I've just been witnessing in the market" he drawled "...there was this Muslim and I felt I should speak to him...so I told him straight - 'you my friend are a sinner and you are going to hell...!'"
I look at this gentlemen who introduced himself as an American pastor earlier on in the week - and I feel - to be honest - a little sad, a bit sick "what'd he say...?". He looked back at me and said "Well…well… he walked away!" We talk and I get the distinct impression that I am being judged, I get the distinct impression that in this guys minds eye - that Muslim and I are going to spend eternity together! The evangelistic adrenaline is still coursing through his veins as we talk - he has had his evangelistic fix but at what cost?
I look at this guy and I ask "can I tell you a story of about two people?" I’m not sure he is really listening to me but I carry on "There was this Muslim guy who was walking through the market, he had his preconceived ideas about Christianity when he met a Christian. This Christian then told him he was going to hell with no context, no background relationship...he tried to be polite but in the end walked away - preconceived ideas confirmed - QED".
"Then there was a Muslim girl who shared that her cousin had died.... as we talked about life she asked ‘Do you mind if I ask you what Christians believe about life after death?’ we talked about grace…" (read here) "...our conversation finished with her saying ‘I never knew that – can we talk again…?’"
He seems bored, weary with me – but I carry on "tell me..who do you think has moved closer towards the Kingdom of God…?"
The sad thing? As he left I’m sure I saw him kicking the sand from his sandals!!?