Friday, December 5, 2008

Am I in America?

I had a shocking experience last night.  After church, a good friend and I decided to go get some cheap ice cream at a nearby McDonalds.  We purchased our delicious treats and found a spot in the small seating area.  This particular friend is also a coworker, so I began sharing about how the sermon had challenged me in regards to my witnessing opportunities at work.  I was telling her about how recently I've felt spiritually attacked with discouragement at work and that I've been praying against that so that I can be a good Christian witness.  I was in the middle of sharing this when a women - another customer who had taken a seat a few tables away - came over to us and said, "Excuse me.  Do you know that the whole restaurant can hear you?"  I was confused.  My first thought was that we were being to loud, but that definitely was not the case.  Our conversation was of a somewhat serious matter and we hadn't been boisterous or giggly at all.  Then her comment (and really what she was implying) began to register.  I was shocked.  I just said, "  Am I offending you?"  She promptly replied, "As a matter of fact yes, you are."  I don't quite remember what I said exactly, but my friend said she was glad that I didn't apologize.  I think I just said something like, "okay," as she went back to her seat.
  I went back to finishing my story that was only half shared at this point.  I quieted my voice and tried to avoid words that I thought might offend this lady.  A few sentences in, I asked my friend if we should leave and I could finish sharing in the car.  She said, "I'm almost done.  Keep going."  That was just what I needed to help me realize that I had every right to talk about the Lord in that public place.  This is America after all!  I do believe I have the right to freedom of speech!!  I continued with my story with a new-found boldness.  I didn't shy away from using certain words and I resumed speaking in a normal volume.  We continued to share about spiritual things for the next 10 minutes or so and then left.  I couldn't bring myself to look at the lady when we left.  I will say I was a little scared of her.  Apparently, she's easily offended with religious things.
  On the way home, I was lead to pray for her.  The truth is that one day, her knee will bow and her tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord as it says in Philippians 2:10.  I just pray that she'll make that discovery sooner than later.