The Stuff of Life

Uncomfortable and Inconvenient – Conversation in a Hotel Lobby

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****Inspired by what I have been learning from Frances Chan’s book Forgotten God, Uncomfortable and Inconvenient posts are my way of documenting my successes, failures and progress as I work to be aware of things in my everyday life that God wants me to do. My desire is to take an active role in LIFE, not just PASSIVELY exist through the days on my calendar.****

“My mom was an Hasidic Jew. My dad was a Roman Catholic. And they decided to raise me in the Unitarian Church,” he said. (I don’t remember his name. I’m terrible with names. In fact, I think my children’s names should be interchangeable. They should all respond to all three names because I frequently mismatch the name and boy, but that’s beside the point.)

I  was sitting in the lobby of a hotel at about 7 a.m. reading a book across from a man in his mid-fifties with poofy gray hair. He was reading something by James Patterson, and I had just started The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldridge. After uncomfortably catching his eye a couple times, I felt like compelled to talk to him.

“What brings you to Ames?” I asked for lack of anything better coming to my mind. I learned he lives in New York, but is currently traveling with a Russian Symphony for which he plays the french horn. (That would explain why people kept coming up to him and asking him questions in Russian.)

After I told him I was at the hotel on a women’s retreat with my church, I realized this wasn’t just going to be a fluff conversation. The Hasidic Jew/Roman Catholic/Unitarian was interested in talking about the differences in my beliefs and his. We spent the next half hour talking about the Trinity, the inherency of the Bible, and the resurrection of Jesus. None of which he believed in.

Here’s the deal. I am not well-trained in verbally arguing the finer points of my faith. There was something so on-the-spot about him asking me why I believe the Bible is true that my heart started doing kempo in my chest. But you know what? I had answers for him. They weren’t brilliant or scholarly, and I don’t even remember exactly what I said. But my reply seemed to satisfy him.

I know I did not change his mind in those few minutes, and he certainly did not sway me.  But I left with an overwhelming sense that I had just done what I was supposed to do. And I think that was the point of the whole experience.


Author: Kim Harms

I am a contributor at CT Women (previously known as Today's Christian Woman where I was a regular contributor as well). I blog monthly at and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Thriving Family and Creation Illustrated. Cancer made an unwelcome visit in my breast in January 2016, and I am now working on a book about breast reconstruction after having gone through the insane process myself. My incredible husband of 18 years, Corey, is my biggest writing cheerleader and together we are having a ball raising our three growing boys; Carter 15, Owen 14 and Lewis 10.

One thought on “Uncomfortable and Inconvenient – Conversation in a Hotel Lobby

  1. I love this! 🙂

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