I bumped in to a neighbour today out on the street on the way home from work. He’s an Iraqi Muslim who’s lived in Scotland for probably longer than I’ve been alive, has a wife and children and grand-children. He’s such a great guy…so gentle and willing to genuinely discuss and talk about loving God. We stood in the street for just fifteen minutes or so but for the whole time we talked about the Bible (like, “oh what’s your new job, Nick? What does Bible Advocacy mean? etc etc) about faith and about Western/Eastern world views that influence spirituality.
It was awesome.
Then, as I sensed the conversation shifting, I felt like I needed to just emphasise the Father.
Just for the moment, forgetting the state of the world, the mutual exclusivity of the Bible/Qu’ran, Trump, North Korea, terrorism, unbelief riddling the Nations, the cesspit of false teaching in the church, blind “leaders” leading others like sheep to the slaughter, societal obsessions about so-called gay marriage and mirages of equality and inclusion and counterfeit love….just for the moment let’s just talk about Him.
So, I said that to him…I said, “at the end of the day it’s all about Him. And He’s awesome. I can’t talk about Him enough….you call Him Allah and I call Him Abba!”
My friend was then visibly arrested. He said, “I’ve never heard of God being called that before…Abba sounds like a word we’d use in Arabic called baba.” And so I said “exactly…and in Aramaic the first vowel sounds a baby will make is “ab” (as in Abba) whereas in English the first vowel sounds a baby will make is “da” as in Daddy. I said, “we’re anaesthetised by pluralism and secularism and humanism to the point where we don’t see how ridiculous it is not to believe in Daddy…Creator God. But we’re born to know Him! As in…properly floored by Him like an infant kid asleep on their parent’s lap, completely blotto.
In that moment, my Iraqi neighbour/ friend had Abba, Yahweh, Yeshua, the Holy Spirit knocking on his heart to reveal His offensive, miraculous, undeniable, absolutely loving truth about Himself…that He is uniquely good, gracious and true…the only way, a literal personifying of love and truth in one heady cocktail of saving Personality.
Friends, when you’re sharing Jesus, don’t worry about the finer minutiae of the trivia of our times, of current affairs (there will be time for that) but rather just talk about Abba, how great and glorious and immanent He is…He’ll rush to the scene and emerge in the moment in a way you might not believe.
My friend and I are going to grab a cup of tea soon to carry on the conversation and I’m believing for his salvation and that of his entire household.
Peace and amen.