The following story is an excerpt from Deep Undercover.
Our company encouraged bosses to take new employees out to lunch, so after her second week, I took Shawna to her favorite Mexican restaurant. This was a sacrifice for me because I really don’t like Mexican food. At one point, the conversation veered into the realm of faith when I asked her what gave her the inner peace that I and the others in the office had noticed and been drawn to.
“As I told you during the interview,” she said, “I get my strength from Jesus.”
I remembered that she had said that, but I still found it odd. How could she draw strength from someone she had never met, let alone someone who died two thousand years ago?
I explained my philosophy to her in a straightforward fashion.
“I used to be a radical atheist with extreme hostility toward the church and Christianity. However, I’ve since met too many good Christians to retain my hostility toward your faith. So now my motto is ‘live and let live.’ As long as you don’t proselytize me, I won’t criticize you.”
She smiled, as if unfazed by my words.
Encouraged by her silence, I continued to explain my belief system.
“Atheism seems to be just as foolish as Christianity. One maintains that there is a God, and the other says there isn’t. But neither side can prove their hypotheses, which are ultimately statements of faith. I believe in reason, but my ability to reason is not developed enough to understand the universe. I’ll stand with Socrates, who said, ‘I know that I know nothing.’ So, there may well be a God, but—”
Without finishing the sentence, I shrugged my shoulders and boldly (today I’m more inclined to say cowardly) declared myself an agnostic.
Back in the car on our way to the office I wanted to be sure that the line was clearly drawn.
“You may believe whatever you like, but please don’t think for one minute that you’ll make a convert out of me.”
In response, Shawna, who had already seen the care and kindness I extended to the team I supervised, made a bold statement: “You are already a Christian; you just don’t know it.”
I had no comeback for that one.
Learn more about Jack Barsky and his secret life and tangled allegiances as a KGB spy in America HERE.