Right before I left the office I had a conversation with an associate, who I’ve known for years, but have only had very casual conversations with – I don’t know much about her. I asked her what she was doing for the weekend and she talked about going to see a movie. She said which one she was going to see, and it was about an African-American girl who was hired by NASA. That was one my wife saw recently, so I was vaguely familiar with it. Then she said that she wouldn’t go see this one called Silence where Liam Neeson was a missionary in Japan and apparently the missionaries were killed by drowning. A friend had told me about that Thursday night at Bible study, so, again, I was vaguely familiar with it. She said she can’t watch horrific things like that on screen. I felt maybe this was an opportunity to turn the conversation to something spiritual, so I asked her if she had ever seen “The Passion of the Christ”. She said, no, she can’t watch that. Then she brought up this question, “I’m a Christian, but I still don’t understand why God had to make his Son go through such a horrific, torturous death.” (I can’t remember the exact words, but that was the gist of it) She surmised that it was to show the depth of his love for us (or something like that). I wanted to interject, but unfortunately, she immediately kept talking with no break and eventually went on to a different subject. I was so disappointed, because I so wanted to talk about that great question. I wanted to say that the level of suffering that Christ had to go through was a statement on the severity of God’s hatred for sin and the cost necessary to pay the penalty sin deserved. But unfortunately the subject changed very quickly and it would’ve seemed unnatural to redirect back to that. I hope to be able to revisit that conversation with her at another time.
Then she started talking about Donald Trump and how she’s not going to watch the inauguration. However, she didn’t sound like she was extremely opposed to him. She was just strongly against his constant tweeting and lashing out in retaliation against his enemies. She said she cringes every time he does that. I said that reminds me of this Bible verse that says “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1) She replied, “That’s nice…” I went on to say that first off, he needs to have his twitter access removed, which is not to say he shouldn’t tweet, because it is harder for the media to “twist” a tweet. On the other hand, he could give an hour speech and they will find one or two sentences in there to focus on to make him look bad. So, I think twitter is a good thing for him to get around the media and go directly to the people with his message. However, I think what he needs is an “editor” for his tweets. Then, when he wants to send a tweet, he needs to send it to someone (the editor) and that person needs to decide whether it will actually be posted, and if so, how it will be worded. The editor needs to be someone he trusts – a person who really understands him and can communicate exactly what he wants to say, but in a more gentle way.
I said to her, “As a Christian, I cannot and will not defend Donald Trump – from what I can see, he’s not a godly man and I’m not even sure he is a Christian, but I get the feeling that he will defend me.” She seemed to agree with that. She talked a little bit about a friend of hers who got to go to some meeting where Trump met with a bunch of Christian leaders and how he seemed to listen to them and be concerned about their issues.
Then, she brought up the concern that she couldn’t understand some of Trump’s cabinet nominations. Specifically, she brought up Ben Carson for housing (I added that specifically, it was HUD – Housing and Urban Development), saying that she didn’t think his medical experience qualified him for that. She also brought up Rex Tillerson and was concerned about his involvement with Russia. She went on to complain about how she couldn’t imagine Trump meeting with heads of State in any kind of diplomatic sense to make peace. I told her that he has met with heads of state as the CEO of his business, to which she responded that that was on his own agenda and for his own gain.
At least during this conversation, I found out that this associate of mine was a Christian and maybe, just maybe, I opened up the door for future conversations focusing more on Christianity (rather than politics).