A Christian and an Atheist were sitting side by side at a lunch counter. The Christian had no idea that the stranger next to him was an Atheist, but the Atheist could see the other guy’s Bible and knew that he was a Christian. It was late in the morning and the Christian was eating an omelet and having a glass of juice. The Atheist was having an early lunch and enjoying a sandwich and a can of soda.
The two exchanged observations about the morning’s weather and then the Atheist asked the Christian how he could believe in God since he had never seen Him. He went on to state that the Christian never touched God or sensed Him in any way. Why would he have any faith in a God who could not be experienced through any of the senses?
The Christian smiled at the Atheist and the invitation to share his thoughts. He looked down at the counter for a minute and glanced at the Atheist’s lunch. “How can you drink that can of soda,” asked the Christian. The Atheist looked perplexed. “What are you talking about,” he replied.
“I mean” continued the Christian, “how can you drink soda out of a can?” The Atheist gave him a puzzled look and said “I just do.” “What does this have to do with believing in a God you cannot see?”
“Well” said the Christian, “it has everything to do with believing in a God I cannot see.” “You have no idea what is really in that can, but you have faith in the soda’s maker that the contents are soda and that there is not something in the can that could hurt you.”
The Atheist did not answer right away. The Christian continued, “Although you cannot see through the can, you do not hesitate to drink the contents.” “That means that YOU have faith in something you cannot see.” “If you can have faith in something that might hurt you and are confident that it won’t, you have to understand that it is easy for me to have faith in a Being who would never hurt me, who I cannot see.”
The Atheist looked at the Christian and smiled, “I have to give it to you, I don’t have an answer for why I am comfortable drinking soda from a can, but I guess it is a sort of faith.”
The Christian, happy that he could make his point continued, “Did you ever consider that when a woman becomes pregnant that her womb prepares a series of mechanisms that sustain and nurture a baby while it develops? Could this just happen by chance or did a great architect design this amazing process?”
The Atheist, now thinking more about faith, stopped to ponder the question. The Christian went on,”And have you ever thought about the balance in nature, how different species of bugs and animals require others for their survival and have a co-dependence. Only a great intelligence could design such a system.”
The Atheist took another bite of his sandwich and picked up his can of soda to take another gulp. He hesitated for a minute and stared at the can. He saw the can, but not the soda. He then slowly drank the last of the soda. It was all soda just as he had been sure of. He looked back at the Christian. “Have a good day.” He paid his bill and left. “God bless you” said the Christian.
©2009 K Richard Douglas