Tonight I had dinner with old friends from Iran. I worked on US-Iran relations for a few years and during that time, traveled to Iran twice. While there, I made several Persian friends that I stayed in touch with after my trips ended. One of those friends emailed me out of the blue last week to say he was in town with his family on vacation, and was I available for dinner?
So tonight I had dinner with the whole family – him, his wife, and their two daughters, 22 and 25 year old. He and his wife live in Tehran; their two daughters are in school in the U.S., both studying to be scientists.
It was a really wonderful reunion with an engaging, fun, warm, loving family…that, in years past would have been tainted by my quiet worries that, as secular Iranians, they definitely didn’t know Christ.
In years past, I would have felt a bit of reserve toward them, toward others like them – that inevitable sense that we’re different, that one of us knows Truth and the other, however nice or smart or kind they may be, just doesn’t. And I would have wondered, “should I be trying to evangelize them?” “And what does it say about me if I don’t want to bust open my Bible or share the Four Spiritual Laws?”
So tonight, free from the burden of worrying about their eternal souls, I simply enjoyed a great evening with people I care about. This was the kind of evening that makes me feel good about leaving the fold.