Brussels, ISIS, and the Muslim down the street

Brussels, ISIS, and the Muslim down the street March 23, 2016

How will we look back on these days of danger, terrorism and fear? How will we be defined?

This is a war that sees no end. For every barricade we throw up, for every checkpoint, for every security precaution, there will always be those who will seek to destroy the innocent.

It’s always been that way. The terrorists have worn names from many tribes, casting their hate under the cause of a flag, an ideology, a god.

Right now, the warriors are using Islam as a cover.  With a cheer of “God is Great” they carry out the most cowardly of acts. Neither their god nor their act is great.

For every one of these actions, there is a reaction. We give up a little more of our freedom. We cede a few more of our rights. We lay down our principles. All so we can feel secure.

And the world reacts with shock and horror.

Why are we so horrified? It’s not because of the loss of life. It’s because we realize it could be our nation next. We are hated by these people for our freedom, for our military, and for our perceived faith. It will come to our shores.

Muslims in America

I’ve thought about the Muslim who works a few offices away from me. And also the family three doors down. They saw the same newscasts, smoke and screams and bodies. They didn’t celebrate. They didn’t rejoice. I imagine they felt the same sorry. They may have even felt shame.

I don’t blame them. Nor do I paint the broad brush. I hate it when people lump my faith into the same basket as some pyscho-lunatic who claims Jesus told him to do something, I think it’s equally unfair to lump an entire people into guilt for these murderous acts.

We are all horrified at the atrocities we see at the hands of this evil. We all remember where we were when the towers fell – and then Paris and now Brussels. These pierced our souls.

Today, ISIL/Daesh/ISIS is a group that slaughters fellow Muslim as well as the infidel Jew or Christian. And I think with every event, a little more doubt is sown among the faithful. There are good mothers of Islam who simply want to protect and nurture their children. There are honest Muslim fathers who want to provide for their families. They don’t know any other life. Perhaps they’ve never considered any other faith, but these events might cause them to question their own.

My response

What will they see in me? I don’t know, but I’m willing to take the risk — of loving them.

Christ is calling me to respond not in fear or distrust. I’m going to look for ways to be deliberate in my highest calling to these people in my life. I’m going to show them a better way. I want them to see Jesus in me, which isn’t so easy given my own corrupt core. But He will give me strength and power.

If as a follower of Christ, I demonstrate his love, they can be won.

Love isn’t easy. It isn’t always comfortable. But it always wins.

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