“So, we are renting our gym to this UPC youth group—real nice kids,” he says. “And I’m talking to one of the girls about what they believe.” Suddenly he interrupts his own story and blurts out, “Let me ask you, do you believe that if you don’t speak in tongues you are going to Hell? Because that is what this girl said.
”I pause, surprised by this sudden pronouncement and offer sincerely, “I’m sorry that happened to you.”
“Yes, but is this what you believe? I really need to know.”
Up to this point, I have no opinion of the man sitting next to me but now look at him in a more discerning way. He has bright eyes and a kind voice. More than that; he is a person on a quest, looking for specific answers. He doesn’t want to argue—he simply wants to understand. I decide at once that I like him and belatedly offer up a genuine smile. I pause, trying to frame what to say first. Then I begin . . .