Went back to Skid Row the past two weeks...I'd forgotten that my heart lives on those broken streets...
Both of the past two weeks I've ended up in long and intense conversations with Muslims. It hurts to look into eyes that gaze back with intelligence and lucidity and then realize that they are just as entrapped as those who look at me through eyes clouded with drugs and alcohol. It hurts to listen to them butt heads with my beloved brothers and sisters who are ministering with me, to hear them respond to my "I'll be praying for you" with an "I'll be praying for you as well." To know that all I can do is pray. Nothing I say will convince them that Jesus is the only way to God.
But isn't that how it always is? It's only that I feel that my words have an actual impact on the other people I minister to, when in reality those conversations are just as much a product of God's grace. How many times to I have to keep coming back to the reality that I am nothing? So, so often I begin to think that I can make an impact on people through my own merit, when it is always, only, all of God.
I am so lost when dealing with Islam. I was really encouraged in my Postmodernism class today when Prof Suzuki somewhat addressed this issue...in academic terms, but still it helped me see why I have such huge roadblocks to conversation when dealing with Muslims. He said, "The Muslims do not subscribe to our narrative and play the completely wrong game against us." There's such a disconnect between us and them that we're not even on the same playing field, let alone playing by the same rules.
This makes God's grace so much more amazing. He reaches down and miraculously transforms everything about a person so they come to saving faith in Him. Isn't that incredible?