Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him. Luke 5:10-11
CNN reported this week on the efforts of US and Allied troops to extinguish the remaining stronghold of ISIS fighters in Syria. Hundreds of people from all over the world have assembled and are being interviewed, questioned and sometimes detained. They are fleeing the terrorists’ last enclave, the besieged town of Baghouz Al-Fawqani. There are men, women and children from Canada, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Syria. With the exception of two Canadian women, nearly everyone denied any connection with ISIS. One of the Canadian women says she came over to be with her husband, who had joined the rebel fighters expecting a wonderful life. She believes in Sharia law and insists she and her two children “must follow whoever is implementing the way, the law.” She insists she knew nothing of the war going on until she arrived in Syria. No word of terrorist executions or enslavement of women. She came, trusting. Now, she isn’t certain what has happened to her husband.
Reading the article, I was reminded of the innocent peasant fisherman who “left everything and followed (Jesus)” (Luke 5:11). Were they so different from these men and women who have chosen to be “radicalized” into what most of us believe is a cruel and hateful shadow-society of murderers, rapists, and kidnappers? I have always imagined Jesus was so charismatic that people just trusted Him and wanted to be around Him. Yes, He healed their diseases and cast out their demons. Yes, He made them feel good about life and gave them hope. Yes, He preached an easy message to hear, a message of love and kindness and honor and goodness. But isn’t that exactly what those who have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups said about the ones who “recruited” them? What was so different about Christ? The answer, of course, is that Jesus was not spouting lies. His Word was true. His promises could be counted on. He really is the Son of God, and He is and always will be pure Light and Goodness. He is everlasting, and He will never lie to us.
Jesus, we humble ourselves before You because You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen
Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, takes the reader through her chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother and enabling father to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. She populates her tale with vivid descriptions of her parents, other influential adults, the attacker, and her disastrous first marriage. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in, when He gently helps her heal from her past lives and move into the best times of her life. Meg has also written a novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, about said first marriage, as well as a Christian devotional, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, comprised of blogs from this site. Stay tuned for sequels to her last two books! All of her works may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .