When I was a teenager, my hometown church went to the Gulf Coast for a mission trip. It was a lot of fun, and we did a lot of good for people, but the one thing that stuck out about the trip was one night when we went to a worship service at a center for sailors from all around the world. It wasn’t a very long service (in the beginning), but when the sermon part was over, the pastor opened up the floor for questions and/or decisions, and I heard one of the most important speeches of my life.
Now, this was a Christian service, but there were sailors there who had different faiths, and the speech that is still meaningful to me some 30 years later came from a Muslim sailor. I don’t remember his name, and I don’t remember what country he was from, and I don’t remember what he looked like, but I will always remember what a Godly man he was. He spent about 10 or 15 minutes trying to convince us that we were all wrong and that Allah was the one true God. You’d think I would be offended by that, but he did it with such a caring and compassionate and genuine voice. He really cared about us and he was really trying to save our souls. His friends were trying to get him to sit down and were rolling their eyes and he was speaking to a partly hostile crowd, but he kept going undaunted. He stood up in a strange land surrounded by strangers who almost all believed in a different God, but he tried to help us anyway. This was his heritage. This was his faith, and ultimately he was a hero.
I sometimes wonder if I could go to a Muslim country and stand up in an assembly and try to convince them that Jesus is the way, and most times my answer to myself is “NO WAY JOSE!” It took a lot of courage to do what he did, and I will always appreciate the tone of love and compassion that he did it with. I hope I’m half the Godly man that he was. Thank you for reading my 72nd blog.