“Where were you last night? Who were you with? What were you doing? Why did you get home so late? Why didn’t you call?”
Remember those days? I’ve had my share. My parents had a few rules and one was that, if we were going to be out later than our allotted time, we had to call. My brother, who seemed to get away with everything, always remembered to call. I never did. Thus, the interrogation.
I remember another interrogation — this time it was at an airport. I was traveling alone with my boys, returning to the Middle East. The question came like this: “Is there anything in your bags you want to tell us about?” Hmm. I had to think. Was there? What did I have that would make them ask me such a question? I was clueless.
Thankfully, they asked in a different way. “Would you have anything that would be considered a weapon in your bags?” I looked down at my eldest and the realization came. “Yes, that would be his toy gun.” Sigh. The bags were opened and searched and tagged. My son was not arrested, and we lived to tell the story.
My minor experiences are comical in view of those my husband went through — first in Syria and later in Darfur. His increased travel in and out of Syria had raised some flags, and we received a call one day that his “presence was requested” at the Ministry of the Interior. Though he was able to come home each day, this went on for three days. Each time he left, I prayed, pouring my heart out to the Lord. In the end, they were satisfied that he was not a threat and let him go.
Several years later, during a trip to Darfur, he and others in his group were held for again, three days of questioning. It was a very serious situation: we had prayers once again, and God brought them miraculously through in peace. As before, we knew God was present, giving him the words to say in the face of such trial.
When I reflect on those days, I’m grateful for the testimony, not only that my husband was able to give to the authorities about his faith, but also to those praying about the power of prayer and God’s protection. Sitting now in the comfort of my home in the United States, interrogation is not something I fear facing any time soon, but I am acutely aware that many who follow Christ are facing it every day in real and dangerous ways.
For them I pray, asking God to give them discernment in how to respond and grace and strength to endure the trials to his glory.
Will you face interrogation? How will you respond? Nothing is too far-fetched in this world in which we live today. My prayer is that we may all be ready to stand strong for Christ in the face of accusations and threats, trials and troubles. Ask the Lord to prepare you for that day, that you will be found faithful.
Grace and Peace