"Lonnie" rolled by and wished me "shalom" today.
I was walking on the bike trail. I do this during work breaks when my reminders remember to remind me that sitting at a computer all day is likely, in the next 40 years, to contribute to my death. I enjoyed immensely that a person would roll by me on the bike trail and wish me shalom. My thoughts were apparently loud enough for him to take an interest in me. He had stopped. I was catching up.
He told me of the love of God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He gets an "A" for noting the two most important commandments then stopping short of applying any behavior requirements to my salvation.
I'm Michael I said. I'm Lonnie - I know Gabriel, he said. We laughed.
I found myself overly anticipating the point in the conversation wherein I'd be invited to join a cult. He handed me The Church at the Gate's current "The Word for You Today" booklet. Not a cult. Huh.
Of all the conservative Christian pastors in town that serve in the state legislature, have been The Daily Show's Today's Moment of Zen, sat with me at a table and asked questions during my hour long safe biking pitch, assisted in getting 3' safe passing legislation passed and that have various other efforts that I'm generally sympathetic too (and others that I certainly am not) - the pastor of The Church at the Gate is one of them.
It might as well have been one of his members that found me on the bike trail and wished me shalom.