A while back, the lady lodging at my friend’s house had a thanksgiving. It seems innocuous enough, but it’s a big thing, since my friend comes from a strict Hindu background. Despite the fact that she’s open-minded and open to the knowledge and acceptance of my own as a Christian, her background and pride in her religion plays a major role in her development.
I’ve always spent Divali at her house (except for the four years she spent in Jamaica studying), still spend weekends there, and learned quite a bit about it from her and her grandmother and father. I’ve even went with them to the temple twice, not doing anything, just sitting at a distance, not touching anything, but prayers were put down, lemme tell you.
She’s spent hours, days, years traveling with us, liming, going to school, and just driving about to wherever, and listening to my mother talk about Christianity, and teaching her, without either of us feeling the need to push it on her. They’ve never pushed Hinduism on me either.
We have a pretty cool setup.
But yeah, back to this thanksgiving. This was the second day I went with them to the temple.
The lodger is a Christian, going to the church behind the house. She wanted to host the thanksgiving at the house, despite Tantie’s misgivings and insistence that she could just have it at the church and the family will attend.
Still it was there. At the house. Uncle said that Prayers is Prayers, and if her God blessed the house, all the better for the family.
Two things from this that I found interesting.
First is how my friend’s baby cousin ( less than three years) was involved in the rituals and Prayers that they did in the temple. Even at that young age, the little girl learned the significance and the importance of each thing they did, and how she did it without question, but with a cheerful heart.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
That’s what went through my mind, and here I was seeing it first hand. Then I questioned how many Christian parents and grandparents took such care to teach, inform, and include their children in the way they were taught or in the way they should be taught, according to the Bible?
Looking at the three of them – grandmother and granddaughters – in the temple, as religious as they were, they did so much according to their belief system. It was admirable, really. But seeing it in action, with me on the outside, it draws introspection, and it proves that for me, I could do more to develop my own spirituality, my own relationship with God. It’s been lacking of late, not lying. And with my conscience pushing me and reminding me, let’s just say I’m getting a better idea of what needs to be done, immediately.
Secondly, that day, before we went temple, my friend stated she really didn’t want to go to the thanksgiving. I pushed her to, not because she’s a Hindu and needs to here the Word of God and be converted. No. She was part of the house hosting it, and the lodger would have appreciated it if they had gone. It would have been polite!
Still I did pray for them. I prayed for success in the thanksgiving – that there would be no problems. That she would listen, that the Holy Spirit would be present. That those who would hear the Word would listen to it.
That night, I listened as they insisted that it shouldn’t have happened there. They were fine with going to the church, but something so not-Hindu should not have been held there. They were true Hindus.
I guess I should have started explaining things, like why the woman wanted to have it where she lived, which happened to be a Hindu household. But really, I didn’t feel the need to.
I think that something happened that day. My friend listened to the service. Which to me was enough, but it seemed something else, something more happened. She said she felt something during worship.
I think that, I want to believe that, I pray that the Holy Spirit is working in her life. I’ve invited her to Church once in a while, not really expecting her to come. Now she’s willing to come. She’ll be there this Friday for one of the guest services we have coming up. She’s more open-minded about and gets along with my friends who are open Christians.
Although I hadn’t been praying for her own spirituality, but focusing on that of a mutual friend, I’m happy, if surprised, that this much is now open. I’m glad that she has a wider group to talk to, to relate to, to learn from, and I’m glad I would have the spiritual support available within our group of friends. I don’t expect it to be immediate, or quick, but I pray that she is interested for herself, rather than for my sake, or for the sake of a lime, although I don’t expect every event we have will be church-church-church all the time. I also understand the importance of Hinduism and tradition for her, and how difficult it may be for her should she choose to convert.
This isn’t a pro-Christianity/anti-Hinduism post. I’ve learned from this experience. I’ve learned more about my own belief system from another, and how it’s applied practically. I saw how the Spirit moves to convict hearts. And how non-Christians see us. Maybe I should have been offended? But I could see the justification for their opinions that I heard. Wasn’t offended anyway.
But it shows the importance of evangelism and living according to the Word. Or learning and studying it for that matter. If other religions teach their children their ways, where are our Timothies? Are our Pauls silent? And are we still willing to take the Word out? Will we still pray and take it outside? Do we still want to develop it inside? Are we aware of how we should act, vs what we seem to be to the outside World?
The train is coming closer. We can’t keep walking the tracks and expecting to jump them before the train hits.