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Author Insider gives you an opportunity to get better acquainted with some of your favorite female authors. It is a section of Christianbook.com where women authors discuss a topic related to their book or speak about what’s dear to their hearts. I hope you enjoy this article about one missionary's eye-opening experience while ministering in a Middle East country. You can read more in her book, Which None Can Shut- Bonnie, Women's Editor

Which None Can Shut: Remarkable True Stories of God's Miraculous Work in the Muslim WorldWhich None Can Shut: Remarkable True Stories of God's Miraculous Work in the Muslim World
Reema Goode
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Seeing People as God Does by Reema Goode

Someone once asked how my family can love Arab Muslims. The awful truth is that we are incapable of loving anyone, even each other, without God’s divine intervention. God is love. We’re not. But thankfully, God shares.

God sometimes helps my heart to care about people by letting me see them just a little bit more the way He does. One such experience happened during a visit to a rich family in our city. My friends and I were warmly welcomed by servants at the palace door and ushered into an opulent sitting room. As we waited for the ladies of the house to join us, a female servant struggled to serve us refreshments. She was almost completely covered in the traditional Muslim clothing, but deeply wrinkled folds around her eyes were still visible. I felt uncomfortable sitting there allowing myself to be served by someone so elderly. I wanted to get up and help her, but that would have brought “shame” on our hosts. Attempting to acknowledge her years, and to show appreciation for her exertions on our behalf, I spoke.

“Thank you for the lovely food. Please, how long have you worked here at the palace?”

To be honest, I half expected to hear a glowing story of gratitude toward the rich family. Perhaps she’d been an orphan who was taken in as a servant and saved from a life of poverty. That’s not unheard of here. But on this particular morning, God graciously allowed me to hear a different story. A story that would illustrate the callousness of even making such limited assumptions, of generalizing about people and putting them into categories. Why should I assume that life in the palace was better? (What was I even assuming it was better than?) What made me think I could safely assume anything about anyone else’s life?

She kept serving but was silent. Then I noticed tears were running from her eyes, spilling over the zigzag lines of her aged face. My friends and I looked at each other, wondering what that one polite question had touched inside the woman’s heart.

Looking into my eyes, she explained that she didn’t know how many years she’d been working in the palace, but that it had been a long time. Her family roots were in a very distant area, and at the age of seven she’d been playing in front of her family’s home when a caravan of strangers came by. It was the rich family on holiday. Apparently, one young son had become bored with traveling and needed a playmate. Giving her father a sum of money, the rich man had purchased her and presented her to the boy. Then he and his caravan resumed their holiday. In all the long years that followed, she never heard from her family again.

On the whim of a passerby, her world had been changed. She’d been torn from the pages of her own childhood and pasted into a stranger’s scrapbook: “mementos of family vacation.”

“Who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?”* The answer, of course, is no one. Only God knows. But thankfully, God shares.

*1 Cor. 2:11 NAS


 

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Which None Can Shut: Remarkable True Stories of God's Miraculous Work in the Muslim World
Which None Can Shut: Remarkable True Stories of God's Miraculous Work in the Muslim World
CBD Price: $10.99

Una puerta que nadie puede cerrar, Which None Can Shut
Una puerta que nadie puede cerrar, Which None Can Shut
CBD Price: $4.49


 

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