The sky was pouring rain as I drove up to the Park-and-Ride bus shelter, where a line of commuters regularly chooses to ride to downtown jobs with strangers in automobiles rather than taking the city bus. We car-drivers like the plan, because it allows us to use the enclosed and fast moving high-occupancy lane instead of turtle-crawling down 25 miles of Katy Freeway from our homes on Houston’s west side. My rider today was a Vietnamese lady, whose nationality I easily guessed from her accent and her appearance. We quickly struck up a friendly conversation.
After I dropped a comment or two about God, she asked me whether I was “Catholic or Baptist” — the two kinds of Christians of her acquaintance. I told her I was neither, but that I taught in Christian churches of all sorts when invited to do so. “I am Buddhist myself,” she volunteered, “and my husband is Catholic. Our son-in-law is an attorney.” I asked his name and she told me. To my surprise, I knew him — a fine Jewish lawyer with whom I had worked on opposite sides of several cases. “It is a small world,” I said, since Harris County alone has 15,000 lawyers.
“All the religions teach people the same right way to live,” she said, happy to exemplify such a spiritually-diverse family. “That is true to a great extent,” I replied. “What Christianity offers that is unique is a Savior who died for our sins and who rose again to defeat Death.” As I spoke, I asked God to use me to plant some gospel seed through which this Buddhist lady might one day come to know Jesus Christ. The diversity of the world has come to America. May God help us learn to speak both faithfully and appealingly to “all nations” who are now our next-door neighbors.