Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ask Seek Knock: Part 3: Knock


Knockers trust God's love. It is a hard thing to persevere in knocking when no one answers the door. It’s even harder to keep knocking when one is not sure if someone is actually behind the door, or what the personality of the person behind the door could be. We know that Someone is behind heaven's seemingly closed doors. We know that Someone loves us. We know His personality and character. We know he hears our cries. We know we are in a relationship that can never be destroyed. We might even become angry that the Someone behind the door is delaying the manifestation of our prayers. We wonder why his “due time” is taking so long. Why won’t the fruit appear now? But we have good memories. We can persevere and endure because we remember other times when the person behind the door helped us. We know His faithfulness. But perhaps best of all, we know that we are not knocking at the door alone. For although we are asking for the door to be opened, we also know that the one who owns the house, the one who opens the door, is in fact beside us knocking on the door with us.

I had a discussion with my Buddhist-Muslim best friend. I said (thinking to win the argument with her) "The Koran has one hundred names for Allah and none of them is Love. But Jesus said "God is love." She said, "Yes! Very true. God is above that kind of thing. We muslims don't want to taint God with human emotions." Aaargh, I had failed miserably. But then I said, "As humans all we have are human ways of understanding God so that is why he sent his son Jesus so we can know him. I am glad we have Jesus as a symbol of what God is like. Or else we would be way more confused about what God is like. In Hinduism Krishna incarnates in order to pursue the evildoers and to destroy them. In Christianity, God incarnates in order to save the sinner." Now, as God would have it I had picked up one of my devotionals that morning -- was reading Notes on the Parables of Our Lord-- and had landed on the parable of the lost sheep. Don't you love when God does these things?

I said, "Christianity gives us the idea as God as the good shepherd who seeks the lost sheep and leaves the other perfectly-behaved sheep in order to save the lost sheep. It tells us that he is a Good shepherd. And what does the shepherd do when he finds this lost sheep? Does he rebuke it and slap it around?" My friend answered, "No, he puts it on his shoulders and carries it home!" I soooo wanted to jump for joy. She was born an Arabic Christian and was going to become a nun except that stuff happens....She left Christianity because she couldn't deal with the idea of God becoming Man and because the ancient anti-Jewish rivalry between Jews and Arabs reared its head. So emotionally and politically she returned to Islam. She believes God actually gave the book to Mohammed and that it's flawless. (why does it say that Alexander the great was one of the great saints?) But let me stop digressing. The fact is: her reaction to my telling her the story of the lost sheep gave me a great deal of hope. When she knocks at heaven's door, she probably is thinking more of a Christian God who seeks the lost sheep than she is thinking of the very unapproachable Allah. I want her to really ponder why -- and this is in the koran-- why God made Jesus be born of a virgin. She should really ponder thins. I'm also still praying that Jesus will come to her in a dream as he seems to be doing with a lot of Muslims worldwide. When he comes to them he often comes as a good shepherd. Will see. But we know who is behind the door and who we are waiting to come to the door when we knock. -C

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