Is it okay to be mad? Its Saturday night. The house is uncomfortably quiet. I am sitting silently in bed staring at the face of my best friend–a pink Sony laptop. My angry finger scrolls down the screen of numerous persecution websites–a sadly familiar exercise for my favorite phalange. I wince as story after story of Christian persecution ignites under the pulse of my cursor. I beg my eyes to look away, but they can’t–they won’t. This is truth–a world full of tortured Islamic souls bent on destroying faithful believers in Christ. This is reality. I gasp for air as I realize that once upon a time, this was my reality.
Is it okay to be mad? How can I read about a Pakistani pastor suffering from police attacks and death threats–and not be racked with shame? Past visions of my former self draped in Islamic garb reemerge as my eyes fix on the plight of 3,000 Christians who have been forced to flee Iraq. A recent story of a Christian woman in Egypt catches my woeful eyes. She has recently been sentenced to three years in prison for refusing to convert to Islam–a conviction I would have one time approved of. Current pictures of Islamic Philippine rebels attacking peaceful Christian communities blast across my screen. I look into the eyes of these camouflaged men, men who sincerely believe they are doing the work of Allah,–and cringe. I cringe, because their faces radiate madness, self-righteousness, and internal turmoil–it reminds me of my own past mindset. “… in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God,” (John 16:2).
Is it okay to be mad? Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost,” (Luke 19:10). Lost they are and lost I once was–but all is not lost. Please pray, not only for the numerous victims of Christian persecution, but also for their persecutors. These human souls are in a constant state of “tug of war” that began with The Fall in Genesis. There is hope in prayer. We have not yet completed the Great Commission.