Saturday, June 7, 2008

My God is Jealous

I have a dear friend from India that I met over 10 years ago. Her kids are my kids "baby friends." She is a Sikh. Our differences in faith have led to many very interesting conversations, for example she is the first person I have met that truly believes in reincarnation... Her youngest boy turned nine and she invited me to her Gurdwara, their version of a church. She had some time off, which is rare, and wanted to take him there for a prayer of blessing, and then celebrate with dinner. I was interested to go and share her life, but also very cognizant that I follow Jesus and Jesus has told me to only follow him...


So I had to explain to my friend that my God is jealous, I can only worship him. I could go but could not participate in the worship of any other god or teacher.

She said that was fine, so I went and observed.

When we drove up she explained that the domes were built in Italy and donated by a very rich Sikh who lives there.




When we arrived we were asked to cover our hair. When I asked if this was something her god demanded my friend replied that covering one's hair is done for modesty reasons. It would be the same as someone not wearing a bikini top to church...


I came into their main meeting room. Sikhs bow and pray to a book called the Guru Granth Sahib, not sure of the name here... They enter bow, pray and then leave an offering I saw people leave money, and another person left milk. Elderly men from their faith spend the day by their book and are available for prayer or readings of the book. When they heard it was J's birthday they uncovered the book and read it. It was in Punjabi, but instead of reading they sang the words.



After the prayers we went downstairs to another room, there is always food and tea available to eat there. So we had some wonderful Indian food and talked. I could tell my friend was so happy that I had come. She mentioned that many American people become Sikhs. At that moment I thought to myself so this is what it feels like when someone wants to convert you...


My dear friend loves me so much. She would love for me to become a Sikh, but the truth is I believe I have found the greatest teacher that ever lived, Jesus. I am so attracted to Him, I can't fathom any other way. I would love for her to meet Jesus and follow him, but for now we have chosen different ways...

5 comments:

The Glasers said...

I am glad you posted this. I did not realize until now that Sikhism is not a branch of Hinduism and Muslism and that they reject the caste system of the former and the convert or die mentality of the latter.

I am with you on this. I am glad that fallible humans like me do not have to pursue salvation on our own strength. I am so glad Jesus died for us because I could not earn my way into heaven!!!!! He knew the truth of the human condition--how hard it is to earn salvation. He was the only one who could!

FXSmom said...

Wow that is really interesting. I think in order to gain a stronger appreciation and love for ones faith it is good to experience another. :)

Katherine said...

Thanks for sharing. The bit about covering your heads reminded me of when I had the chance to worship with Christians in India - all the Christian girls cover their heads during worship as a sign of modesty. So - it's not just a Sikh thing! Hopefully this experience opens many doors for fruitful discussion.
-Katherine =)

Nancy said...

I experienced a similar experience near Provo, Utah where my husband and I toured an Indian temple. I found it very sad because our guide was so dedicated to his gods, yet so lost. I still pray for that man and those who go to that temple.

Thank you for sharing. I pray your friendship reaches your friend for Christ.

In Him,
Nancy

Jen P said...

I may need to email you privately about a similar relationship I have with a close friend of mine. Definitely has led to interesting conversations. She has never tried to "convert" me to her "beliefs" so I often feel weird around her whenever I talk about Jesus or Christian holidays, which many of them she and her family celebrate. If you get a chance to lend me your ear (um, email inbox) I would really respect your opinion/guidance on how you would handle the situation with grace (because I know you would!).

pinkpowerhouseatgmail