In his intriguing book on the different stages of faith, Scotty McLennan celebrates the spiritual practice of hospitality.
"By the end of the summer I had decided I wanted to become a Hindu. On the morning I approached the priest with my request, he took me to sit with him in the front room on a Persian rug. The rain was coming down in sheets and banged loudly against the roof. I was stunned by his response. 'No, no!' he chided. 'You've missed the point of everything I've taught you. You've grown up as a Christian and you know a lot about that path. It's the religion of your family and your culture. You know almost nothing of Hinduism. Go back and be the best Christian you can be.'
"I remember how the rain against the roof seemed to rattle my brain. I was upset. 'But I don't believe Jesus was any more divine than Krishna or the Buddha,' I pleaded. 'And Christians would condemn you for knowing about Jesus and not accepting him uniquely as your Lord and Savior.' His response was simple: 'Then go back and find a way to be an open, nonexclusive Christian, following in Jesus' footsteps yourself, but appreciating others' journeys on their own paths.' The more I could learn about others' paths, he explained, the more it would help me to progress along my own and deepen my understanding of it. These words have remained my marching orders for life."