“Well,” I said one day as Mr. Camdey and I were walking around the garden together, “Christianity may seem wonderful and all, but isn’t it similar to other religions? I know, for instance, that Muslims also believe in Jesus and God. Is Islam the same as Christianity?”
Mr. Camdey raised an eyebrow at what I thought was a logical question. We reached the end of the path and turned back towards the house. “Islam is very different than Christianity.” He was quiet for a moment, then continued in his slow, thoughtful voice. “It is true that Muslims believe that Jesus existed – but then again, so do Jews. However, Muslims only believe in Jesus as a prophet – much like Mohammad. To them, Jesus is not God, but a mere mortal. They also believe Allah has no son, nor does Allah carry the same characteristics of God—for example, Allah does not have God’s infinite mercy, grace, and compassion as well as His unshakable justice and love for all people.”
The two entered the house and proceeded towards the kitchen. Mr. Camdey paused in his dialogue to examine a new ice cuber, which had not been there previously. He called in his chief-of-staff, James King, who was in his mid-fifties, tall, and thin as a bamboo stick. Mr. Camdey addressed him, “James, what is this?”
“The old one broke down, sir. This one was 50% off at Target,” James replied monotonously as I fought to maintain a straight face. The man’s voice was so somber it belonged at a funeral.
Mr. Camdey’s wispy eyebrows rose higher on his face. The thought of Mr. King, in his spotless penguin suit, walking with a slow, sad gait, shopping at Target with a trolly sent me into a spasm of hysterical giggles. Mr. Camdey looked on in amusement, while Mr. King remained as somber as usual. I was reminded distinctly of a British Grenadier Guard, the kind who never smiled and was always serious.
Wheezing, I managed to gasp an apology. “Pardon me, sirs.”
Mr. Camdey grinned. “Accepted. Thank you, James.”
“You’re welcome, sir.” Mr. King replied gravely. He served us ice tea before exiting the room.
I finally managed to control my laughter, and Mr. Camdey and I sat at the kitchen table, sipping the ice tea with ice from the discount ice cuber. I knew, of course, that Mr. King had likely sent a servant shopping instead of going himself, but I could not rid myself of the ridiculous image of the expressionless, dignified man pushing a shopping cart through Target. Shopping for a discount ice cuber, no less.
“Anyway,” Mr. Camdey said pointedly, returning to our earlier topic, “Christianity is quite unique. It is the only religion that encourages a personal relationship between God and man. It is also the only religion in which God comes to earth and dies for the love of His people.”
I considered his point. “I see that my earlier question was rather ignorant.”
“It was a typical question of new believers who know little of their religion.” Mr. Camdey’s voice was not accusing, only stating a fact.
“I wouldn’t call myself a new believer just yet.” I said carefully.
“Very well. It was a typical question of unsure people who are beginning to question their current beliefs. Like you.” Mr. Camdey raised his eyebrow in his trademark expression, and I knew this was one argument I would not win.