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Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Conversation in an Uber

A bit of my conversation with my Uber Driver, Mr. Patel from South India.

M.P.: I am Hindi. Our 'big thing' is karma, you know.

Me: I understand. I am Christian. I guess our 'big thing' is sin.

M.P. Which is not the same as karma.

Me: Yes, I'm sorry. I made a bad joke.

M.P.: Yes, but it is true. Christians talk a lot about sin, but usually, it is about someone else's sin. Not their sin.

Me: Yes, I'm afraid that's true.

M.P.: If Christians were more concerned about their own sin rather than worry if someone else is sinning, the world would be a better place, you know?

Me: Indeed.

M.P.: And, Ma'am, if you don't mind me saying, I think if Christians stuck with the basics of their religion, and taught the basics of their religion, they would be better Christians.

Me: How do you mean?

M.P.: Stay with the basics: God is Love. Jesus is love incarnate. The Holy Spirit will guide you in Love. Judge not lest ye be judged. Love your neighbor as yourself. When you sin, when you fall short, repent and God will forgive you because God loves you. Forgive as you have been forgiven. And, be thankful. Always. Always. Be thankful. If you have thanks in your heart, you can not help but love others as God loves you. To forgive others as God forgives you. To worry more about your own sin than if someone else is sinning.

Me: You speak such truth it warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes. I think you are a better Christian than I am.

M.P.: Well, I went to Christian school in South India. I know about the teachings of Jesus. But the brothers and sisters who taught me cared more about nourishing my mind and feeding my body and my tending soul than whether or not they could convert me to their beliefs. So, my way of life is Hindu and I try to practice the basic teachings of Jesus. He was a good man. A very, very good man. He knew the Ten Commandments and the Sanatana Dharma. You can hear it in the prayer he taught his disciples and the New Commandment he gave them. If some of the people who say they are Christians would actually follow his teachings, well, it would be good. It would be very good.

Me: Hmmmm . . . . Less sin, more Dharma.

M.P.: Ha! I think that would make a good bumper sticker.

Me: Indeed. I'm so glad I came here to Glasgow. I was supposed to go to Edinburgh today. I think part of why I'm here instead is to meet you.

M.P.: I am so grateful that God has put you in my path. I am so grateful to the Christians who gave me an education. You make me think that maybe Christianity has a future.

Me: Well, there are some days when I worry about that.

M.P. Worry less. Be more of who you are, more of the time. Let your light shine. Others will follow. That's how it worked for Jesus, right?



Elaine said...

Thank you so much for sharing this conversation. There is so much profound knowledge in the conversation between you and M.P.

I have my sermon written for Sunday on the part of the Shema instructing us to share our wisdom and faith with our children. However, after reading this, I would very much like to use this conversation in my sermon.

I do post my sermons on my blog. I would give full attribution (let me know to reference you) and will post a link back to your blog from mine.

Elaine Besthorn

p.s. I have checked the box to send follow up comments to my email.

Elaine Besthorn said...

This is my blog address:


glmaedl said...

Truly beautiful and inspiring!

Svarupa said...

Oh yes! Yes! Yes!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Elaine - I would be honored to have this story included in your sermon. I think, so would Mr. Patel.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you, Glmaedi and Svarupa. Thank you to Mr. Patel for writing it.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Elaine - I am still in Scotland and Firefox won't let me onto your blog site without making a Big Fuss. I'll trust you and read it when I get home to USA.

my official title is (the Rev Dr) Elizabeth Kaeton, but please just call me Elizabeth. The summary of my CV is on the right-hand side of the blog under "about".