Since we’ve only lived in this country for a couple of months, I’ve really appreciated every opportunity to make new friends in our neighborhood. Lately, I’ve been getting to know a woman named Priya (not her real name). Last week, she came over to my house to do some baking with me. This week, I went to her place to learn how to make cheese-stuffed flatbread.
While at her house, I noticed the Hindu shrine that was in a prominent place in her home. It is before shrines like this that Hindus perform daily prayers, or pooja. In the shrine, there was an assortment of idols representing Hindu deities, along with candles, incense and bells. I asked Priya about the various gods and goddesses, and she explained to me the daily rituals of worship, including cleaning the idols, changing their clothes and feeding them. Priya’s husband also regularly burns clarified butter, or ghee, at the shrine and recites traditional Hindu prayers.
As we continued to talk, Priya shared with me that she had also been experimenting with Buddhism and various chanting rituals. More recently, however, she had also begun to pray to Jesus. As Priya told me this, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, “You wouldn’t believe the results I’m seeing!”
“I do believe it,” I replied immediately and then, as we still stood before the glittering gods, I went on to share about my own experience with knowing Jesus as the Living God, a God who speaks to us, gives us peace and interacts with us daily.
Priya nodded eagerly and shared about the peace that she feels when she prays to Jesus and how it far exceeds anything she has ever experienced. She went on to tell me about a childhood friend who is a follower of Jesus, but lives in Singapore. This friend has been sharing her faith over the phone with Priya and encouraging her to read the Bible, which Priya has been doing. But she told me that she only wished she understood more.
“Maybe we could read the Bible together,” I suggested to Priya. Again, her face lit up and she asked, “Can we start next week?”
As we parted that day, I shared with Priya that I thought God had brought us together. She replied with confidence, “Jesus brought us together!”
God is calling people to himself and inviting us into the stories that he is writing. I am amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit in Priya’s life, and grateful for the chance to be her friend. Please pray with me as we continue to meet, that I would be able to share the Good News of Jesus with her in ways that she understands, and that she would continue to feel and know the presence of the Living God in her heart.