We had gone clear to the very end of the Torino metro line to talk to a less active on the pretense of talking to her mom, whom she lives with, but the lesson fell through. So we were walking on this huge bridge to go back home when I stopped this new mother on the bridge and asked her what makes her happy. She said her babies :) twins. So we started talking about religion after a couple minutes and she said she's atheist. I told her in our church we believe that there is a God and that He is our father in heaven and so were all children of God. I usually don't make hardcore eye contact with people but I looked this mother of two, several years my senior, a fluent Italian speaker, and told her I know that God loves her. Everything that happened on her face was very subtle but like, she didn't look confused or weirded out. Im a total stranger on a bridge in the hot of the day looking her dead in the face and telling her that God loves her like she loves her children and I could see in her face that that touched her. She was moved. Even if she forgets about that incontro later on, at least at that moment in time, I knew I had helped bring her closer to Christ.
In fact after I told her that, the next thing anyone said was her admitting, "I know that God exists." Dang. She told us so boldly as soon as we started talking to her "hey I don't believe in God." But I told her God loves her and she understood that because she felt the spirit and all the sudden she's admitting the exact opposite thing, because she knows it's true in her soul. Maybe not in her brain but in her soul she feels it.
1 John 1:9 is the best I could find for this experience because it sort of implies that everyone is born with this light of Christ in them and admittedly some people in this world have really unfortunate lives where they feel like God has totally forsaken them. Sometimes I can't believe God really thinks they can handle the problems they get handed. All I know is my life, and I know I could easily tell people that I don't believe in God. Literally it wouldn't be that hard. I could shake off this life and this religion and quit the mission and move out of state and live my life doing other thingsand reading philosophy books instead of the scriptures (I'll read philosophy either way lol). But I would always know. I would always know that I've felt His presence and that I'm just turning a blind eye to something that's easy to ignore in this world if you want to. As can everyone turn a blind eye God if they want. Sometimes that makes life less complicated. For some people, like this lady, they don't want to believe in a God that could let horrible things happen. But at the end of the day when we stop to let ourselves feel His love then, at minimum, we can't say we're alone in this world.
Also we had a lot of lessons at the beginning of this week and then we ran out of people to meet with byso we were doing some park finding. Out of everyone we could have talked to, sister Harris chose to go sit with this thin, long haired, older man sitting alone playing his grass green ukulele. Of course I was thrilled, this guy is my homeboy on every level.
So we sit down and were talking to him about music and sister Harris said she plays the piano and I said I played the cello and also the ukulele. Sister Harris asked him to play something for us and he asked me to sing because Idk why haha. So this guy was a horrible ukulele player, like, always trying to figure out the chords but didn't really know them and didn't have great rhythm so I was sort of like ha-ha I don't knowww, because I was just like, *hesitant noises.* So he started pulling out all these hand-written lyrics and chords out of his bag and I saw one of them at the top corner of the paper was titled "Major Tom." So I was like, ah major tom by David Bowie! And he was like, yeah, yeah Davide Bowieh! So he pulls that one out and long story short I sang the vocals for Major Tom with a long-haired hippy ukulele accompanist in a park in Italy with sister Harris. I only sang the first verse. I really wanted to ask him if I could play something afterwards but we were kind of short on time so, maybe another time Dante (his name was Dante).
Here are some random pictures from Jill's photo sharing files: