Monday, December 27, 2010

For Daughters of Hagar

Funny thing, the first 2 books I have picked up have specifically detailed the lives of Muslims. If you haven't read The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns, DO IT! They are really thrilling fiction books, and they have given me an entirely new perspective on people in the Middle East, specifically in Afghanistan. After reading A Thousand Splendid Suns this weekend, I was particularly broken for the women of this area- the oppression that Islam generally gives women is so disheartening, and I ache for them. I understand that not all Muslims require women to stay in the home, unless to be accompanied by a man while wearing robes from head to toe, except for a small mesh slit for their eyes. I understand that not all Muslims deprive women of education or value. Like Christianity, there are varying groups of Islam with different ideals and very different lifestyles. I understand.
Muslims may hold differing views, but there are still women in the heart of the Middle East who see life through a slit. In regards to Gospel-sharing, these women may be the most unreachable people in the entire world! In the book Friends of Ishmael, a story is told about two young girls reaching out and "making friends behind the veil." It was convicting and encouraging for me to read this story, because it made tangible what I thought was impossible. The author writes, "Knowing that witnessing was prohibited and conversion was punishable by death, they wanted simply to be able to look even one poor widow in the eye and tell her of God's love." They were blessed beyond measure with opportunities to share, and although finally imprisoned, they left Christ's mark all over the place!
It is not safe to go and share the hope we have with women in a Muslim country. By all means, I heartily understand this. But I am finding more and more, however, that I was not meant to live safely. Of course I must be wise about my life, not making foolish decisions for ill gain... but in regards to the Gospel, I must live dangerously. Christ has called me to this. I have been given much, and I require much. Comforts that seem normal here in America are indeed a blessing, but "I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the Gospel of God's grace." (Acts 20:24)
Obviously, I don't want to die over stupid things. I don't want to be imprisoned or beat for foolish and selfish things I have done. Rather, I am willing to die for the cause of Christ alone. Raymund Lull prayed a prayer that shook me to the core, struck a familiar chord in my heart, and has continued to crowd my mind with thoughts. He says,
"Men are going to die, O Lord, from old age, etc.; but if it be Your will, Your servant does not want simply to die; he would prefer to die showing love, even as You were willing to die for me."
I want so badly to be able to love so much that I sacrifice my life for it! I want Christ to be shared with others through my love and my life. I want to die for the sake of Christ, as long as seeds are planted. I want to go to the darkest, most dangerous place in order to love. This is my desire; I can only hope that it is God-given and that I'm bold enough to follow through. The truth is, though, I'm not that great. I am not courageous or bold enough to go to those dangerous places, though I want so badly to possess those traits! I want to fear nothing but God- when will it settle in my heart? I pray that the Lord would prepare me, teach me, break me, and mold me.

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