“At the Christmas break in 1963, I brought home to the Ottawa area a friend I had come to know and enjoy at the university I was attending. Mohammed Yousuf Guraya was a Pakistani, a devout Muslim, a gentle and sensitive friend. He was trying to win me to Islam; I was trying to win him to Christ. He had started to read the Gospel of John when I took him to visit the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. We enjoyed a guided tour of those majestic structures and learned something of their history and symbolism. Our group had reached the final foyer when the guide explained the significance of the stone figurines sculpted into the fluted arches. One he pointed to represented Moses, designed to proclaim that government turns on law.
“Where is Jesus Christ?” Guraya asked with his loud, pleasant voice, his white teeth flashing a brilliant smile behind his black beard.
“I don’t understand,” the guide stammered.
“Where is Jesus Christ?” Guraya pressed, a trifle more slowly, a little more loudly, enunciating each word for fear his accent had rendered his question incomprehensible.
The tourists in our group appeared to be embarrassed. I simultaneously chortled inwardly, wondering what was coming next, and wondered if I should intervene or keep my counsel.
“I don’t understand,” the guide repeated, somewhat baffled, somewhat sullen. “What do you mean? Why should Jesus be represented here?”
Guraya replied, somewhat astonished himself now: “I read in your Holy Book that the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Where is Jesus Christ?”