Written: Oct. 15, 2016
It is amazing what can be in your house that you never notice…Raouf had laminated a small piece of paper and stuck it in the frame of his seminary diploma. Trust me, I have never paid any attention to it. It is written in his “not very illegible” Arabic handwriting. This week, as I realized that I had pretty much finished the book about him, I looked up from the desk and spotted the piece of paper.
I took it down and tried to make it out — sorry, no luck. I kept it to make sure I got a friend to translate for me. Then I remembered that he kept a journal that my sister had given him when we went overseas. I turned my head and spotted it on the shelf. While I found some things in English, most was written, again in his lovely handwriting, in Arabic. (I loved my husband, but not his handwriting!).
Last night, my dear friend, Nermin Behery, came over to start working through the material. As she read, I typed. The little piece of paper was written in 1966, the year he graduated from high school, and most likely had been in his Bible all these years. It read: “I don’t ask for money, but ask for forgiveness for all my sins. I don’t ask for wisdom, but ask for love, that I might love all people.”
As I think about that prayer, I actually think about why he pulled it out after all these years and stuck it on the frame above his desk — was it not to be constantly reminded that his greatest goal in life was to love others as Christ first loved him? To many, Raouf Ghattas was known as “The Doctor of Love”. I am confident that the prayer of a high school teenager made the man.
May we all live out the prayers of our youth and return to that first love. (Revelations 2:4).
Grace and Peace