Yesterday on the plane I sat by this woman, maybe in her early 60's. First thing she said to me when I sat down was "So, you're going to do long term mission work?" At first I thought she was some kind of prophet (haha), so I asked her "How do you know?" Supposedly, her and my dad had talked earlier while my mom and I were getting breakfast. She told me she was Catholic, so I gave her one of my prayer cards. She kind of skimmed over it and I could tell she felt a little uncomfortable.
She then made a comment, "I don't understand why missionaries feel like they need to go to other countries and convert everyone." I was thinking has this lady ever read the bible (The Great Commission) and then I began to pray that the Lord would give me patience and the right words to say. So I asked, "So you're saying I shouldn't go to a Buddhist country and try to tell them about Jesus, so they can have eternal life?" I guess this was the wrong thing to say because she flipped out. She said, "You should leave them and their religion alone, now can we stop talking about religion? Don't you have anything better to do with your life then talk about God. We can talk about anything else other than religion; boys, pets, school, sports...etc." I was shocked. But I kept my cool and I told her that God was my life. Everything I do revolves around Him. Then, she told me that my life was going to be shallow and I am going to walk on a straight and narrow path.
Without realizing it she was actually giving me a compliment. Because in Matthew 7:13-14 it says, "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."
At the time I felt so hurt that a complete stranger would say that about my walk with the Lord. But, then I realized this was totally the enemy trying to discourage me. So, I knew what I had to do, love this woman despite her attacks at my relationship with God and what He has called me to do with my life...being a missionary. We ended up talking the rest of the plane ride. I asked her about her pets and children. It was a nice conversation, as long as I didn't bring up God, which was so hard for me! haha. When I got off the plane she wished me the best of luck and told me to be safe.
There are many things I wish I could have said to her. It was perfect practice for me though and I hope to come across someone like her again. I need to be so grounded in my beliefs that I can express myself clearly and with knowledge. I just hope something I said planted a seed.