I always have a hard time when asked my favorite….anything! I mean, how can you just pick one? Your favorite food? It would soon be my LEAST favorite if I had to eat it all the time! Color? I usually say green, but there are so many different variations, and I like them all. I would never say red, a little bit goes a long way, you can burn out on red in a real hurry. My favorite animal? Give me a break. I do think giraffes are totally cool, and I like penguins. I am not at all fond of possums, they’re disgusting. My favorite book? OK, I have consistently said C.S . Lewis’s The Great Divorce for a long time, and it’s really special to me. I have recommended it many times to many friends, and am always disappointed when they can’t even get through it. It’s thrilling to me. I got Brian to re-read it again a couple of years ago after having read it as a teen. (We both read a ton of classic books in a big hurry at that time in our lives that we need to go back and re-read, because I’m sure we didn’t have sufficient maturity and understanding of life to get much out of them.) His reaction to his second reading of The Great Divorce was more gratifying to me than any other friend’s, guess that ’s one reason I love him more than any other human–we connect on so many different levels. He agreed it was truly brilliant, we talked at length about it, and his inspiration for his message "The Tapestry of Grace" was somewhat inspired by that book.
Favorite Bible verse? I can’t even go there. I need it ALL! There are some special ones, like Psalm 119 (longest chapter in the Bible, and I reserve the right to like the whole CHAPTER as opposed to picking out any particular verse) I like Micah 6:8. But Brian told me a great story Thursday night about a favorite Bible verse. He posted a cool story on his blog http://www.brianzahnd.com about an encounter with an Indian pastor in an airport. But he didn’t tell a really cool part, so I will!!!
Premraj Nag needed a visa to come to America. They are extremely difficult to obtain–there are one billion Indians, most of whom would love to come to the United States, and so very few can get the visas. When Premraj went to the American Embassy in Delhi to apply, he saw IT’s (those are guys who are really sharp on computers and want to come to the US to work), CRYING as they left the embassy, their hopes dashed because they had been denied.
He approached the official, who asked him why he wanted to come to the US. He told him he wanted to go to a church conference.
OFFICIAL: So you’re a Christian?
PREMRAJ: Yes, a pastor.
OFFICIAL: What’s your favorite Bible verse?
(Premraj thought to say John 3:16, but just as he opened his mouth, he heard the Holy Spirit say, "No, say John 1:12.")
PREMRAJ: John 1:12
OFFICIAL: Really? Quote it.
PREMRAJ: To as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
OFFICIAL: Well, I’m a Christian, too, and that is my favorite verse! I’m giving you a ten year, multi-entry visa to the US.
And he did! That is phenomenal, that is the Cadillac of visas, and very few people get those! And then to fly to the US, and have God provide for you by meeting at the airport an American pastor with such a love and passion for India, who volunteers to help him and take care of him while he’s here! It’s a great testimony when Brian tells it, but imagine the testimony Premraj gets to tell!
I have some more to say about my favorites, and will do a book review soon on The Great Divorce , but that’s enough for now….