Yesterday as I ate lunch I overheard two men discussing faiths other than their own Evangelical beliefs. One gent was a little louder than the other, and I could clearly hear someone in his past incorrectly explained a number of Catholic beliefs to him. He then said, I am willing to,listen to what they (Catholics) have to say, but from what I know they are going to hell.
I was nervous, because inside me I was hearing a call to simply explain the errors he heard. To let him know if what he said was true (for example that we worship Mary like a God) I could not be That type of "Catholic" either. So I finished my lunch and made a decision...I would offer to both men my services to understand the Catholic faith from a Catholic who really wants to know truth as well.
With my mind made up, I walked right up and made the offer. What followed was one of the most respectful ten minute discussions I've ever had. We discussed Mary, sin, Saints, intersession, problems with language translations, how God's plans for us all vary in time and process, baptism, reconciliation and our goals in life. Near the end, one of the men looked at me and said "Why do you know scripture? Most Catholics don't."
I told him I was embarrassed I don't know more, but it was a lesson I took from the Evangelicals I met. One had to have faith, keep learning as an adult, and be willing to share it in evangelization. So I learn something, learn how much I still don't know, and then adore how the tenets of my faith interlock into something more beautiful with each lesson.
When I left I was shaking a bit. Did I do justice in my explanations? Did I honor the teachings of the Lord with my deeds? Did I show my sincere respect for fellow seekers of the Lord's timeless Wisdom? Did I do what God wanted me to in this test of my faith?
I've been praying God would discern to me what my future should be...maybe this was part of the process. Until then I will have to keep praying my Faith grows in the Wisdom of the Lord and I do him honor and Justice in word and deed. I also will be praying for those two nice men, that they continue to honestly seek the Lord's Wisdom themselves. The Lord wants nothing less than for us all to come home to Heaven.