Make no mistake, her hostile attitude made me want to turn back.
It was witnessing blitz time, and so I went to the first floor of Palma Hall, scoured the floor, and my eyes fell on this girl sitting on the floor, leaning on a pillar near the entrance.
I think she sensed me about to approach her, because in the moment it took for me to redirect my steps towards her, her face instantly took on the a guarded look. As in, VERY guarded.
So our conversation went something like this:
Me: Hello! I’m Sarah, and I was hoping to talk to you. You don’t have classes yet, do you?
Student: Noooo… why?
Me: I just wanted to ask you several questions about life. I’m really interested to know what students have to say about the subject.
When I said that, her face visibly relaxed. Then she Rolled. Her. Eyes. But the eye-rolling was a very appropriate prelude to her next statements: “I thought you were going to do Bible-preaching on me… I think religion is hypocrisy.”
Huh. At this point my curiosity had been sufficiently aroused, my senses peaked, that I was willing to genuinely pursue her, hostile attitude be damned.
THIS is why I love Aninag. Those picture cards are A. Mazing.
After several minutes of using Aninag, talking to her and asking her several low-key spiritual questions, student had sufficiently loosened up for me to ask if we can actually talk more about this stuff next time. This was tricky, I sensed she was debating internally if she wanted to talk to me again. After several minutes of negotiation, we finally settled on a date for next week.
The next time we met, she was actually in a good mood! I don’t know what I was expecting, but it seemed a very good sign.
And so we engaged in more dialogue, and from our (rather long) talk, I concluded:
1) That this girl is very smart,
2) Rather talented,
3) And also… lonely. There is no other way to put it.
She showed me this verse she wrote:
“Shall I ever be forgiven for my incurable sins?
Can water cleanse my dirtied hands when rinsed?
What is the perfect retribution for my crime?
Will it be forgotten or be washed away with time”
She told me she had tried asking God before, but God didn’t answer, so she concluded that God must have relegated her to suffering. She told me she has learned to deal with it by actually wanting pain (though I think that matter is debatable). She told me she can never believe that God can forgive her. She told me she cannot believe that anyone can recognize her talent.
Towards the end of our conversation I got to share the gospel to her, and…
This is the part where I wish I could say my incredible wit and invincible arguments convinced her to surrender her life to Christ and begin a personal relationship with Him, but no. (While I was sharing though, she stopped me midway and in an amiable manner said, “I just realized you’re already ‘Bible-preaching’ on me. But it’s okay, just proceed.”)
We parted ways as friends though, and I believe I sensed an openness not previously there.
Sigh. What pain must she have faced back then for a young thing like her to arrive to such conclusions?
Have you ever had any similar experiences?