Tears flowed as I heard the news, even though I had expected the outcome.
A dear brother asked us to pray a couple of weeks ago about an impending visit. A friend of his would be traveling to his home country and making a visit to this brother’s family. Why should it be a problem?
While his siblings and mother knew, his father had yet to learn that his son in America had denied Islam and become a follower of Jesus Christ. Apostate. Kafir. Shame.
And so we prayed, asking God to give our dear brother peace no matter the outcome. Sunday, we heard the news. His father had called and told him he had until the end of this year to renounce Christ and return to Islam, or else…or else, what? Or else, he would be disowned as his son and would lose all contact with his family.
I sat there, trying to translate to others what I was hearing, all the while, tears flowing from my eyes.
We know so little of the sacrifice others make in following Christ. We sit in our soft pews, our air conditioned homes, our Christian-based culture and take it all for granted, while others lose it all.
My heart was breaking for him.
So, what did we do? We prayed again. We hugged him. We reminded him that though he may lose mother and father and brother and sister — all he’s ever known, for following Christ; he is not alone, and has mother, father, brothers and sisters here, ready to love on him and walk with him, even in the darkest times.
As I spoke to him later, another dear brother said to me: “Don’t worry, Ms. Carol, I will take care of him. I will not let him be alone.”
I don’t know what makes me cry more, the pain a believer experiences in walking the narrow path, or the love I see expressed in the Body of Christ. Then it hits me, both bring joy to God the Father. He is well-pleased when we choose Christ above all, and he is well-pleased when we show his love for one another in the Body.
It makes me see how he can bring springs in the desert and family for the orphaned.
Pray for this brother. Pray for all those who are paying the price of faith.
Grace and Peace