Tuesday, September 11, 2007


What a difference six years can make. In the course of that time, much has changed. While I could spend hours pondering the changes our country has gone through since the attacks of September 11, 2001, I would rather focus on the change that must happen within us.

This morning, at the same time when the World Trade Center towers collapsed 6 years ago, I spent the better part of an hour speaking with my friend, Saleem, who happens to be a Muslim. He owns a gas station near my church, and we have struck up a friendship over the course of the last several months. Each Tuesday morning, after our staff prayer meeting, I head over to his store and pick up a couple of granola bars for breakfast. We usually talk for a few minutes or so, and then I head on my way.

Today, we got into a much deeper discussion as he shared with me his journey from being a student in India, to his time as a young engineer in London, to moving his family to the United States as he tried to provide for his family in the best way he knew. He showed me a picture of he and his wife, with their two young adult children. What a beautiful family! And, how he loves them!

Our conversation highlighted a lesson that the Lord has been showing me in recent months. We often tend to break humanity down into groups based on our own understandings and perspectives: good or bad, rich or poor, conservative or liberal, etc. A more useful way would be to look at people through the commonalities that we share. For instance, in Saleem, I saw today a picture of the image of God, a trait that all of humanity has shared since creation. In the hijackers, we saw a clear demonstration of mankind's depravity and hopelessness. The two images come together in a powerful way, reminding us how we each live in both camps. Throughout our lives, each of us display the image of our Creator as well as the extreme "fallen-ness" of the world we inhabit. It is in recognizing these opposing pictures that we begin to view all the people of the world as Christians should: a tarnished version of what one is supposed to be, but with the tremendous potential of being polished and buffed to a brilliant shine!


BeechNut said...

Douglas, with this posting, you have hit a point that the Lord spoke to me about last Sunday as I was teaching my Men's class. We have two men in our class who have already served one tour of duty in Iraq and are set to go back over there this January. I asked the men "How many of you pray daily for Osama Ben-Laden and the leaders of Al-Quaida?" Pray not for their safety and well-being, but pray that the Lord would approach them in dreams to reveal Christ (ISSA) as he has to so many other Muslims. I got some interesting "body language" responses.
Keep up the good work.
Pray for us as we head to Slovenia.

Jenny said...

I'm so glad to discover your blog! I enjoy your insight.
Keep digging!