While touring with my in-laws in the historic Muslim city where I live, I met a man at a tea garden. He had a dervish man tattooed on his hand, so I asked him if he was Sufi. He seemed shocked that I knew what his tattoo meant so he was very interested in talking to me about it. After he told me all about Sufism the conversation lead into why followers of Jesus like myself do not follow Muhammad. I explained that we understand Jesus to not just be a prophet like others, but that he was the Messiah. He had heard that word before but said that he didn’t have a full understanding of what “Messiah” meant. I explained that all people needed a Savior and that salvation could come only through a sacrifice. Jesus was both and fulfilled all that the earlier prophets promised.
As we talked, a huge flock of little birds landed in a nearby tree. There were at least 100 little birds on a little eucalyptus tree (I know that because he told me). The birds shook the tree so violently that hundreds of eucalyptus berries fell all around us and on our heads. We had to move. This only lasted about 20 seconds or so and then all the birds left. I thought it was interesting, but this Sufi man was obviously unsettled. He said that Allah was pleased with our conversation and sent the birds to us. I sort-of brushed it off, but he was persistent about the birds being sent from Allah. I finally said that God wanted him to hear the message of Jesus. He agreed. We gave him a Jesus film and a New Testament. Please pray for him right now.
I thought about this later and thanked God that He knew the best way to impact this man. He contextualized the message for me!