Last night I wanted ice cream. And when I want ice cream, there is only one solution: go and get ice cream. So we headed to the Mad Cow Creamery (actually its the Big Cow, but we call it Mad Cow because that’s what I would call it if I owned an ice cream store).
When Amy and I got there, we noticed our neighbor (who didn’t remember meeting me a while ago) and so reintroduced ourselves. His son, the owner of the shop, was preparing an traditional Indian birthday carrot cake-like concoction. It read “Happy Birthday Krishna.”
The father was heading to some sort of birthday party for Krishna, who is one of “the main gods” in Hinduism. The party was slated for midnight because that was Krishna’s time of birth. We know Jesus was born sometime in between 4-6 BC, but the Hindu’s somehow know the very time!
Anyhow, Krishna was born a man, but later became deity upon death. I guess that’s what prompted my neighbor to say that he was “like Jesus Christ.” Of course one difference (besides reality), is that Jesus was the preexistent creator through whom the world was made (Col 1), who in the fullness of time took on a body (Gal 4:4). Kind of different order.
Anyhow I remembered some of this from my World Religion classes, but the store owner filled me in on the rest. Simply by asking some questions about Krishna, I was able to show respect to someone I obviously disagreed with. And he certainly was glad I showed some interest in his culture and religion.
But who knows, maybe that was a start to a relationship where the gospel can be fleshed out and expressed one day. Who knows? But at the very least, I think I can now get my neighbor to come to a neighborhood cook out. And I’m even more certain Amy and I will now be getting a friendly wave back instead of a “why-are-you-waving-at-me-type-stare” we’d been accustomed to.