When St Paul speaks to the Greeks in Athens, he talks about how God prompts and stimulates the search for himself. It’s not that God sits back and folds his arms, and lets people make up stories about him as they will. God prompts. God hints. God shows and draws. God begins to disclose. And so, we’re looking around the world and seeing people that God is already involved with; and we need to remember that part of that involvement is what they are saying about God, and thinking and singing about God, and growing in relation to him.
So they have something to say about God, which we may not have heard. We think we know it all – all we need to know about God. God forgive us; but we are always being led by God deeper into the mystery of his endless life of love and relation and bliss. Why should we be surprised, or shocked, or even sometimes resentful, if somebody who’s not actually part of the family has something to say to us that we need to hear?
We shouldn’t be surprised if those we encounter will say to us something we didn’t know, will enlarge our world – and to say this is not to give way to a kind of relativism. (…) We start seeing the shape of Jesus in unexpected places and faces and people, we begin to approach these conversations with a little more humility, a little more expectation, a little more excitement, and a lot more gratitude.