by Leif Hetland
The video clip below from many of our endeavors in the Muslim world and our desire to love Muslims on purpose. Twenty nine years ago when I arrived in America very few Americans were aware of the presence of Muslims in our homeland and even fewer were informed about Islam, the religion of Muslims. But on 9/11, everything changed. On my way home from Mozambique, I arrived in Johannesburg South Africa with a broken foot. My dream was to get to America–the land of the free and receive health care that the so-called-doctor in Mozambique could not provide.
At the airport in Johannesburg it was chaos: guards with guns, police control, and thousands of people desperate to get to America as we watched the airplanes flying into the buildings. The world was shaken by a group of people relatively unknown, who flew airplanes into the Twin Towers that fateful morning killing pilots, the passengers, and thousands of innocent people going about their work. All around the world the word “Muslim” became equated with terrorism.
I cried that day for several reasons. First, I cried with my brothers, sisters, and thousands of victims and their families who had senselessly lost their innocent lives and a nation that was recovering from the horror. Second, I cried for the many Muslims whom I had developed friendship and relationships in the past six years. The rage and anger against many peace-loving Muslims broke my heart as I watched a world in its judgments against them.
The perception that Muslims are terrorists, dangerous, and worthy of fear, has lodged the hearts and minds of many Christians.
My assignment to love Muslims without an agenda, to love as Jesus loved–became a challenge because of the fear that we created towards Muslims and the distrust and fear they had towards us. It was not until my Baptism of Love that my heart exploded with love towards Muslims. I knew I was deeply loved and it became love that took away all fear.
Ishmael is starving for Fathers affection. Islam filled the void of his heart, saying God is not a father and has no son. Islam became the face of God to Ishmael. God will hear the cry of Ishmael in this hour. Will we hear the cry of God’s heart in this hour? Will we respond?