By Name Withheld
When I was getting ready to leave my home church, I shared openly with a group of women about some of the unique struggles Islamic women face. I asked these ladies to consider covering me in prayer as I entered into the world of Muslim women. One woman came up to me after the service and told me her husband once said Muslims were the one people group he felt he could never love or accept. She asked me to join her in praying that the Lord would soften (and humble) his heart.
Christianity Today recently published an article called “A Nation of Suspect” that brings to light some of the tension in our country between Christians and Muslims. My friends and I—who serve, live alongside, and love Islamic people—were saddened to see the many hateful, venomous comments made about Muslims in the comments section of the online version of the article. It’s the kind of talk that limits connection and relationship. And sadly, it represents the sentiments of far too many Christ followers. If I could speak to a room full of those people who feel Muslims are unlovable and unworthy of our time and attention, I would tell them . . .
• Muslims helped us fix our roof this week.
• Muslims change my son’s diaper when my hands are otherwise full.
• Muslims sell us eggs, help us do our homework, invite us over for tea, and share the little food they have with us.
• Muslims dress modestly, value marriage, despise abortion, and pray more faithfully than many of us.
• Two Muslim women come to my home every weekday morning to help our family live, eat, and survive in this country. Their husbands go to a mosque every day, wear traditional head coverings, and when my 3-year-old son was so sick I hardly knew what to do, one woman cried with me—a Muslim woman who loves my children almost like her very own.
Then, I would ask my friends who struggle to love Islamic people to humble their hearts and remember none of us deserve salvation. Indeed, we’ve freely received God’s love, so we should freely share his love, and Christ’s love, with others.
What a shame we would determine that anyone is not worthy of God’s perfect love. His love is enough for all. And that is why we worship him.
My prayer is that we would commit to pray three things:
1. That more Muslims would come to know the saving love of Christ Jesus.
2. That God would give all Christ followers a growing love and compassion for Muslims and a willingness to take big and small steps toward building meaningful relationships. (For helpful tools, resources, and information, go to www.crescentproject.org.) There are more Muslims moving to the U.S. every year. You don’t have to be called to serve in the jungle to reach out right where you are.
3. That we would all have humble hearts regarding our salvation, and flowing from that, a heart to share the really good news that brings us out from darkness into light!
The author and her husband and their three children serve in ministry in Indonesia.