I never know when it will happen, but more often than not, it comes when someone speaks of the impact of his words on their life. It was a typical, crazy Monday at work. I had been running in every kind of direction at the library, but we had a meeting scheduled during my lunch hour, so I slipped into an empty room for privacy. We sat around the table, our pastor, two church members and the representatives of a Christian non-profit, talking about how we could meet the needs of the refugees in our midst.
As I try to go back and remember, I can’t…it’s all a blur. I only remember the statement Brother Fady made: “The last time I met with Pastor Raouf, we sat together at Tusculum Hills and cried, and he said to me: ‘I must decrease, that He may increase.'”
My heart skipped a beat, the tears came…I could not stay long after that. Why? Was it the thought that my husband had cried over the needs with a brother in ministry? Was it because I could feel that he had grown so weary in the race? Or, was it simply because he was such a humble example of a servant in this world?
Yes, perhaps all this, but in reality it could be because I could not ask him about that moment. I could not find out what was behind the tears or the comment. I shake my head…I don’t have to ask him. I know him. He was so burdened for the lost, the refugees pouring into our area, yet he was also so tired. He knew the time was near, and God gave him rest from his labors.
Raouf Ghattas, the man bigger than life to all who knew him, was ever decreasing for the Glory of God. Oh, that we would take to heart that need to think less of ourselves, that Christ may shine in and through us.
Grace and Peace