I talked to a man who recently experienced open heart surgery.
I say experienced, like one experiences the Opera or a Boston/Yankees game.
I don't think he was looking for an encore and I imagine the experience is one he would rather not repeat.
He may have slept through his performance but he has a lasting scar across his chest that will remind him every day... when he buttons and unbuttons.
What will he think of as he traces his fingers along that long jagged line? The years ahead will soften the line, a reminder of the gift. Years.
The years may also smooth his memory, taking away fear.
Will he look at his scar and be grateful, for good surgeons and bodies that heal?
Will he think of God? Will he think he has been spared for another day, another purpose?
It's interesting what surgery can do to a person.
It changes the insides of a body and it can change the inside of a soul.
But in which direction?
I have had minor surgeries, leaving me thankful and overwhelmed with what man is allowed, trained and gifted to do to another person. All healing to the human body is a beautiful miracle.
I listened to the man share his beliefs. The older he becomes (see above), he believes we should read and accept a variety of religions, borrowing some of this, some of that, leaving out the stuff we don't like.
The stuff that makes us uncomfortable... sin, pain, suffering, consequences. These are the things I would leave out if I were writing the book.
I did not point out to him that the one book/group he specifically suggested would find his approach intolerable and he would probably die for his ideas.
Thankfully he is a free man in a country that protects his ideas, though futile they seem to me. I will always be grateful that we can discuss them... or any idea, religion, belief.
He continued, sharing that he had been hurt by the church years ago.
He was dissillusioned. You see he had followed a man, a pastor, a leader... someone who let him down.
His folly was trusting in man, and now he was trusting in his own flawed, man made religion.
He talked, I listened. I was intrigued and wanted the conversation to linger. There was no time. I knew I had to say something, yet show the utmost respect.
What he shared, it was honest. Was he looking for confirmation that possibly I agreed with his beliefs?
Did he think I did?
How could I share a truth, God's Truth with him?
I prayed... fast.
Then I said, "I'm glad you are searching. The things of God deserve to be looked for. May I suggest... before you read and decide what is true, first ask God to show you Truth. Seek Him. He will not hold back from you. He will open Himself so you can know Truth."
I believe that in my deepest soul.
God doesn't hide from us, but we have learned the game quite well.
Why stumble in our false hope and truth when we can have absolute Truth today?