It was a Tuesday. We had just finished our Pascha Prayers for the Eve of Wednesday. Our Priest along with some servants decided to do a “late” Pascha for those that were not able to attend because of work or school. We had just finished the late Pascha and were locking up the church. Being Egyptian, a task that would normally take 5 min ends up taking 1hr. We decide to go over some Pascha Praises for the Eve of Wednesday. We finish up and then everyone gets in their car and goes on their way. It 1am.
You have the right not to remain silent!
I was texting my mom, letting her know I was on my way home. In the corner of my eye I notice a black vehicle. It was in the lane to the left of me. I noticed it speed up, drop back, then switching to the lane behind me. Before I could count to three I see the lights flash. I pulled into the nearest plaza and waited. He comes up to my side of the vehicle, his partner on the passenger side. I immediately tell him that I knew why I was pulled over. It was because I was on my phone while driving. I simply tell him that I was at Pascha Week Praises and I was just letting my mom know I was on my way. He then looks to his partner and says “Hey! You’re religious. What’s Pascha?” His partner replies in a funny manner “I’m not that religious!”.
License, registration, insurance, and Evangelism
He looks over to me and ask me for my license, insurance, and registration. I hand him over my license and insurance and while I am looking for my registration he asks me, “So what is Pascha Week?” I was completely off guard. I had never thought he would really ask me this question. I didn’t know what to say. As corny as this sounds, all I could remember was the verse in Luke 12:12 that says
“Do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
But what was I going to say!! All I could think of is, telling him the history behind Pascha and what it meant in the Old Testament. Keep in mind, I’m not well-versed in scripture. I simply cannot reference biblical verses off the top of my head. So what I did was simply tell him the story of the passover. No fancy bible references. No deep contemplations. No quotes from the Fathers. Just a simple story. The same way you would tell it to your little brother or sister. All while looking for that registration paper.
From the way he was looking at me, I could tell he was engaged and interested in what I had to say. He wasn’t just hearing, he was LISTENING. In the end, he let me go with a warning but that wasn’t it.
I know what your’re all thinking. So I might as well say it. Yeah, getting out of that ticket was pretty sweet. However I realized something else that day. The fact that people want to hear about Christ is incontrovertible. I’m not saying that we need to go preach door to door (although that would be awesome!). But rather tell people who Christ is. I’ll be honest with you. Sometimes I try to change the topic when I am talking to people about religion. Not because I am ashamed of my faith or my beliefs, but rather because I don’t think I am able to accurately tell people who Christ REALLY is. I can’t quote bible verses or famous sayings of the desert fathers.
So what can I do?
I spoke to many people about this and have heard awesome and amazing advice from all of them. I will list the ones that I feel really helped me the most.
- Don’t just read the Bible. Understand what you are reading.
- As cliche as this sounds it’s true. Just think about it in your academic life. I can read a textbook about basket-weaving for hours on end, but if I don’t understand what a granny knot is, then my reading is not really going to help me. (No. I have not taken up basket-weaving 😉 )
- Talk about it
- The best way to further understand what you read is to talk about it. Talk about it in a college youth group. With your roommate. With your priest. With the guy that gave you extra sauce for your nuggets. (Okay maybe not him)
- Ask for guidance
- Pray to God to help you. Ask your father of confession or spiritual guide for advice or assistance and remember “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
These are just a few of the things that I have heard from others that really affected me the most.
-Until next time
Your brother in Christ
P.S. Pray for me