What if God were your conversational piece? You know, the kind of precious ornament or piece of furniture that’s been handed down to you and you just couldn’t help but show it off and brag about it?
An acquaintance of mine mentioned that he owned a statue that had been passed down from generation to generation. Without mentioning what it was, he went on to ask me if I’d like to come and see it sometime? I thought it sounded like a fairly normal invitation so I took him up on it.
Do you have a conversational piece in your home?
I have all sorts of family heirlooms lurking around my place and I love to show them off. But not only do I love to show them off and share their history, I also feel accomplished when I can repurpose them. I have my grandmothers old shoe buckles in the bottom of a glass planter. I use them instead of shiny rocks. They are so colorful and unique. I have jars of buttons, rocks and shells from various trips I’ve taken and a pair of old beat up, toe-torn baby cowboy boots that all of my children wore while living on a farm. They are now penny holders. Heirlooms are full of fabulous stories.
While walking into my new friends home, there it was; his ornament, his conversational piece. My mouth dropped open as I looked at his old, rusted, ornamental statue of Buda. It was adorned in faded jade green jewels with a torn purple robe around the shoulders. The eyes were closed and his hands were rested in his lap.
I wasn’t quite sure of what to say. I needed to choose my words carefully and be kind but I also knew that having a Buda in the home would be against my Christian faith. I looked at my friend and said, “Well, um, I think the statue is beautiful so tell me a little bit about it.” He went on to tell me how his mother had acquired the Buda from India when she was just a child. It had been handed down from generation to generation and always sat on the shelf in her “shelter-room” which was the living room where they felt protected. He also reminisced how his grandmother used to sit in front of it and pray and feel the “healing gods” move on her behalf.
As his story rounded to an end, I asked him if he believed in Buda? He looked at me with confused eyes and said, “I believe in God. Buda is a remembrance of my heritage; where my family has come from.” “Why display it then?” I asked. He replied, “Some people display the cross, the very representation of their salvation and never even talk about it. Buda is my heritage but God is my salvation. Buda is my conversational piece, my roadway to sharing Christ with those who walk through my home.”
When I left his house, I thought about our conversation for a long time. I looked over at my Bible on the table that had not been opened for days but there it sat; a representation of who I am. I looked over at the Christian art hanging on my wall with it’s perfectly scripted scriptures and thought about how many times I’ve walked by those pictures and never took the time to read them aloud. These were part of my conversational pieces and yet I had not used any of them to share Christ within my walls.
My grandmothers buckles didn’t tell me a thing about her faith or if she had any. The jars of buttons, rocks and shells have hidden-faith-traveled stories that I’ve never shared. What I took away from this experience was that I need to share Christ through all things; through all of my belongings even the hidden treasures I might find behind my couch.