My prayer today was for an open door to bear witness for Christ with Max, my student bass instructor who had his senior recital tonight. At the reception after the recital, I met his mother, told her what a wonderful young man she raised, and talked with her about his future. Max is a great teacher who pays attention to details, is encouraging and patient. He should do well. When asked Max how I could pray for him, he hesitated for a moment before saying, "I'm not sure what I want to do now." I remember being that age, dealing with the uncertainty, wondering what the future held, trying to decide what I should be doing with my life. I must say, it's easier on this end. I told him I would certainly be praying for him. He will soon be back on Long Island; the likelihood of seeing him again is pretty slim. My prayers however, will follow him wherever he goes, and the God in whom I believe is just as real and active on Long Island as he is here. I'll have a couple more weeks to talk with him, and pray to be able to take the conversation another step towards Christ.
Unexpectedly, I had a lengthy conversation with Danielle, a biology major who is a member of the bass society. Music is for her a reprieve from the isolation and depersonalization of the laboratory. She wants to work for hospice when she graduates next semester, has recently decided that religion holds no allure for her, based on a series of disappointing conversations with a pastor regarding evolution. she talked; I listened, then suggested that faith language is a different way of looking at life. We can describe human experience psychologically, sociologically, biologically, educationally, politically, etc. Each approach has its advantages and its limitations. "What I've found," I told her, "is that religious language is a way of looking at life that explains things that other approaches cannot." In hospice work, she will be dealing with these issues on a daily basis. I am praying for Danielle, and for opportunity to take our conversation further. Religious language after all, is only that. It cannot save her, nor can it give her peace and direction for life. That is only found in Jesus Christ.
One conversation planned, another dropped in my lap. I am grateful tonight for the opportunity to meet these kids and bit by bit, to expose them to a way of life and a relationship with Christ that they have never encountered before. God is opening doors with all sorts of people on campus, simply because I am interested in music. Isn't he good, to take melody, harmony, and rhythm, and use them to make connections, bridges from my world to theirs over which Jesus can walk into their lives?