Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jesus and the Cup o Joe

Crystal, our friend from Florida, invited Weiling and me to the weekly Bible study she attends at the local Starbucks. Phil was kind enough to drop us at the train station where we rode one stop away from Tokyo to meet up. They use the Jesus Life House study guide, and Crystal got to lead the group. Each person took turns reading Bible verses and interacting during the discussion questions.

Something special happened during our gathering that none of us were really expecting. A girl who had been sitting in the booth a few feet from Crystal was reading her magazine and drinking her latte and seemed anxious. Before she went to the washroom, I noticed she didn't have the ubiquitous cell phone appendage to keep her occupied, so I mentioned to Crystal that she should invite the girl to join the study in the future. Crystal introduced herself and struck up a conversation. The girl didn't speak English, but thanked Crystal for the offer and quickly dismissed herself from the store. 10 minutes later, we finished up our study and began our prayer time at the end and, as I was praying aloud, the girl came back in and started talking to Crystal. She asked if this was about religion and Crystal gave the perfect answer. She said "It's not a religion, it's a relationship. And we get together each week to learn about God and our relationship with Him and each other." The girl was surprised. She asked, "What made you decide to talk to me?" Crystal said, "That crazy American over there made me."
Okay, maybe she didn't say it that way, but I was fascinated to see the life come into this complete stranger's eyes as she was talking. She didn't seem as disconnected to reality this time, and she seemed genuinely interested as she probed for more info. Crystal invited her back for next Tuesday's study. Whether she'll come or not, I don't know, but I'll continue to pray that she would consider seeking God as the answer to what's missing in her life.