About ten minutes into my conversation with USTAFOS outside the library coffee shop (see parts one and two below), I knew I was meant for this moment.
She was beyond engaging.
The intense back-and-forth between us unfolded in a strange atmosphere of trust (so it seemed to me) that could never be expected or predicted. Or explained.
She brought up several examples of people that she loves and respects who are not Christians, and asked if they are going to hell.
I said that speculating on people’s salvation status is not my job. “Everyone goes before the judgment seat of God. He deals justly with each person. Know this, however: we must come to God on his terms, not ours.”
“We don’t get to make the rules, God does,” I said. “He’s offered his Son, Jesus, to us. Seems foolish to reject that offer, don’t you think?”
She frowned and looked away for a moment, then faced me squarely. “Yes, it all makes sense, but I don’t want it to be true! There are too many implications.”
“For my relatives, my family.” She looked at me pleadingly. “For people I love.”
We stopped talking as I absorbed the significance of that statement.
After awhile, I said, “I can’t help what’s true. If Christianity is true, neither you nor I can unmake it so. It just is, whatever the implications.”
Snap, now I felt stupid. Did I just apologize for my beliefs?
“I have to go to class,” she said, looking at me like I was a bit weird.
“I’m speaking tomorrow evening at InterVarsity. Will you be there?”
“Sorry, I have another commitment. . . ”
She was gone.
* * *
Between last week’s post (Part 2) and this week’s, I received the following note from students at her campus: “USTAFOS became a Christian.”