27 March 2008

An unexpected encounter

Yesterday afternoon I went to the gym later than my usual time becuase of a whole host of things. I didn't think anything of it, really, but it ended up affording a very pleasant and unexpected encounter.

I hopped on one of the elipitical machines - on doctor's orders - and opened up Christoph Cardinal Schonborn's Chance or Purpose? Creation, Evolution, and a Rational Faith and read all of the first paragraph when a man hopped on the elipitical machine next to the one I was on.

As he started he asked me, "You're a priest, aren't you" (I wasn't in my collar)?

A bit surprised, I answered, "Yes, I am," and thought I would get back to the book. But the man continued talking, for the full thirty minutes we were on the elipiticals.

It turns out he is a Buddhist from Viet Nam who works in the mall. He said he remembered seeing me one day in my collar in the mall, which must have been back before Christmas since I can't remember going to the mall since.

He was very friendly and we had a most enjoyable conversation, talking about family, Effingham, our faiths and even telling a couple of jokes. I am grateful to the Lord for the encounter and wish all people could be so friendly, even with greatly differing beliefs. I hope to talk with him again some day.

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