He walked hurriedly as he turned the corner, his car keys jingling, Bible in hand. It was sundown and immediately the synapse fired in my head - "Are you going to church?" I asked.
"Yes," he said, not turning around.
"Is it your sabbath?"
This was enough to make him turn around and point to the sky as he smiled at me, "No, it is the sabbath of the Lord!"
I told him I kept sabbath, too. He shook my hand warmly. We talked about our respective churches and promised we would visit them. He wished me and my family a happy sabbath before he was off to lead the youth program. It was so nice to meet another Adventist in my neighborhood. ***
One of my favorite parts about being a Seventh-day Adventist is that we can spot one another. Sometimes it's the lack of jewelry, sometimes it's a Bible, sometimes it's the casual mention that we can't be somewhere on a Saturday. It's always so heartwarming to meet another Adventist, because the walk can be hard and lonely at times, and very very hard to explain. You meet another Adventist and suddenly you don't have to explain yourself. And I don't want to go all Tom Cruise, "You just know...I mean...you just know!" But living in a city where everyone purposefully disinterests himself in the other, hiding behind cellphones and ipods and underneath Red Sox caps, it's just so nice to meet someone who also holds the same things sacred. I understand all the arguments against organized religion, the resentment of the money/time suck, and yet I would argue that an organization itself cannot harm a person. People harm people. And it is for this reason that I hope my family and I can only bring help and not harm to others - be they believers or not. And hopefully through the vehicle of our religion, we can bring more help to more people. Perhaps that is idealistic, but it's hard not to feel idealistic when you feel such warmth from your brother, who is also your neighbor. Praise God. ***
Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. ~ Phil 3:17