I was absolutely shaking, sitting in the front seat of my minivan packed full of six girls.
Next to me sat a Muslim who I had just met five minutes previous. We were having a church roller skating event and I had decided to call and invite the international students from our local community college. Not only had this particular student said yes, but she also had asked for a ride.
I shook with fear because I was so out of my comfort zone. I had a couple of other Muslim friends, but none of them covered their heads with a hijab like she did. How much of her faith does she hold to? I wondered. What have I gotten myself into?
It was interesting to watch the reactions of a room full of Christians when I arrived with my girls and a Muslim girl in tow. Some tried to hide their surprise, some were hospitable, and some stayed away. Regardless of their reactions, the truth was that it was somewhat uncomfortable because it was it was somewhat unknown.
It wasn’t every day that a Muslim showed up at a church gathering.
The unknown is almost always scary. As the year has gone on, this girl has gone from a stranger that I feared to a friend. As we spend time together sipping tea at our English Discussion Group, trust is growing and she is opening up about her life. We are crossing the bridge from the unknown to the known.
My own faith is being strengthened as I get to peek underneath the veil of Islam and see its destructive teachings. I am convinced more deeply than ever that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
Muslims are not our enemies. Muslims are some of the kindest, most hospitable people that I’ve ever met. Yes, we have all heard of extremists, but the Muslims that I have met and grown to love want peace just as much as we do. They are confused, deceived, and worshipping a lie.
Muslims are in deep need of Christ to break the powers of darkness that grip their souls with lies. If you follow Christ, you have the truth. Don’t let fear paralyze and prevent you from saying hello…asking simple questions…inviting them over for tea.
You must be highly intentional to get to know the Muslims that God has put around you, “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10,11). This is no task to be taken lightly, and we must be prepared.
While this won’t be easy, I implore you to fight the paralyzing fear of the unknown. “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7.
May we all, hand in hand, cross the bridge to loving Muslims, controlled by love instead of fear.
Published August 10, 2015