I once took a group of students in a world religions class to visit a mosque in the Atlanta area. As we headed home afterward, one student seemed particularly shaken by the experience. He leaned in toward me and said, “We could learn something from those folks about how to humble ourselves before God. We just don’t know how to do that and they do!”
I agreed with him.
We live in a wonderfully diverse context in which we have the opportunity on a daily basis to interact with people from all sorts of religious backgrounds. We talk among ourselves about how to share our faith in the midst of this diversity. We hone our arguments and figure out how to defend our intellectual assertions about God.
But does it ever occur to us that God might be speaking to us through our Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu friend? Does it ever occur to us that God is not finished with us yet? That we are in the process of becoming more like Christ each and every day–and that we often have a long way to go to reach that goal. God is shaping and forming us in so many different ways through the people that God brings into our orbit.
I recently read Darrell Guder’s book, The Continuing Conversion of the Church. In it Guder reminds us that the church must continually be converted “from her reductions of the gospel to its fullness” ( p. 206).
I have a feeling that this was what was happening in the mind and heart of that student on a visit to a mosque. And I have the feeling that it is what happens to me each and every time I enter into a loving relationship with another human being with the hope that both of us might somehow become more like Christ in the process.