The Power of a Question

by Michael C. Sherrard*

The important thing is to never stop asking questions. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. -Albert Einstein 

If I could be anyone other than myself, there are a few people that I wouldn’t mind being. One of them is my friend, Cameron Ford. There is one incident from our high school days that displays the type of guy he is. One night, we went to see a movie with another friend. This theater, like many theaters, had the show times available to be seen from your car. As we sat in the car thinking about how to waste our eight bucks on some mindless nonsense, a couple of intoxicated young lads came our way. They apparently thought we were checking them out as the taller one said, “You got a problem? Whatcha lookin at?”

Now before we go any further, know that I am prone to be a sarcastic jerk that often cannot keep his mouth shut, especially when my manhood is being called into question. So, instead of calmly telling the nice young man that I wasn’t looking at him, but simply trying to see what movies were playing, I responded to the irate ruffian, now in my face, by saying, “Problem? You’re in my face. What do you want… a kiss?” This did not help our situation. He immediately stepped back, and with a little slur in his speech said, “Ahh nah, this dude’s a gay! I’m gonna punch this guy in the face!” 

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At this point, I realized my stupidity and braced myself for a punch to the face. I don’t know why we didn’t think to drive away or role up the window. But boys will be boys (which means stupid). I started to put my arm up to block the impending blow when Cameron from the back seat said, in his slightly Californian accent (though he is not Californian), “Dude, why are you so angry?” 

You would have thought Cameron had put a spell on the guy about to punch me, for he froze in his tracks and simply said, “Uh… I don’t know.” All of his rage melted away in a second just because of a simple question. The story ends with me not getting punched in the face, Cameron offering the gospel, and the guy apologizing to us – all because Cameron asked a question…

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*Michael C. Sherrard is the director of Ratio Christi College Prep and the author of Relational Apologetics.