Today, I got a chance to have the most random conversation of my entire life – and I’ve had some random conversations.
While getting my five-going-on-sixteen year old ready for school, I felt like I should head up to Barnes & Noble in Manchester. This was once my office away from office, but now that we’re in Merrimack I don’t go that often. Since I needed to pick my wife up in Manchester anyway, it was not out of the way. I left my computer behind and just took my iPod (which is my PDA).
Sitting in the B&N cafe, I was happily listening to a series of lectures on the Medieval Period when I heard a conversation at a table near me. One person was talking about how “many people had previous lives in ancient Egypt” and another sharing his thoughts on Egyptian history and America.
It became clear fairly quickly that the first person was a goddess worshiper (read Wiccan) and when I glanced over, I noticed that the second was clearly a Copt. (If you don’t know, the Copts are the indigenous people of Egypt who were driven out by the Arabs in the 7th and 8th centuries CE.) What an opportunity for a conversation!
So, a quick prayer. “Lord, I’d love to be a part of this conversation.”
Two minutes later, the first person – a lovely young lady – mentioned that my Copt friend, who I later found out was named Jimmy, looked a lot like “that – that heretic pharaoh. Oh, what’s his name?”
Spend thirty seconds around me, and I’ll bring up something about ancient history, particularly the Levant. After she repeated her question two or three times, I took the nudge and said out loud, “Amenhotep IV.”
Without missing a beat, she looked at me and said, “Yes! That’s it. Doesn’t he look like him? What was his other name?”
“Akhenaten,” I replied.
Without getting into too much detail, before too long, I was merrily engaged in this wonderfully cross-cultural conversation that hopped from politics to history to religion to sex (something Wiccans absolutely adore to talk about) to Squanto and the Indians. There I was, a baptist preacher talking with a Wiccan and a Copt. I should also mention that there was another wonderful lady there, but my mind is a sieve when it comes to names. I feel awful, but the only name I remember is Jimmy.
I had to get my wife, so I had to leave but I left my card. I hope our little odd group gets a chance to talk again.
God is so crazy. I’m an introvert who likes to listen to history lectures and write most of my day; and he keeps throwing me into the strangest situations. Gotta love him.