Today I was hankering for Middle Eastern food, which is fascinating because yesterday I had Indian for lunch and Thai for dinner. I guess I am on an international food kick. But I digress.
I went to a Kabob place near my house and ordered my food. I was really interested to know where the man working there was from however, I was hesitant to ask for a few reasons. First, and foremost, I am shy and I don’t do well starting conversations with people I don’t know. Second, there is always that feel that you will ask someone where they are from (assuming they are from another country) and they will say “Chicago, ya jerk.”
But this time I didn’t let me fear win and I ventured to ask. He said he was from Egypt and then said, “You know, where all the protests are happening.” I said, “Yeah, what do you think about that?” He shook his head and said, “It is no good.” I asked, “Do you think it will be good for Egypt?” He said, “Long time. Now there is no President, Prime Minister, no control of the army.” Basically, no one is in charge or in control at the moment. He then said, “And they are killing Christians…like chickens. The security service does nothing when people do drugs or murder or other bad things, but they kill Christians.” I said, “I cannot imagine. Do you know people that were in the protests?” He said, “Yes. I was just there. I only came here a week ago.” I didn’t know what to say, but I think I said, “wow.”
Then he said something that will stick with me for the rest of the my life.
He said, “They are killing Christians just for being Christian.” Then he paused before saying, “But I am thankful for knowing Jesus.”
Talk about humbling.
I get frustrated and complain when people don’t know how to drive in this city. Or when I have meetings all day long. Or when I have to go do something I really don’t want to do.
But there are people around the world who are dying every day for the simple reason that they believe in Jesus.
His statement reminded me that my life is not my own. Jesus was very clear that the cost is great to follow him. I may lose my family and friends, I may not have a place to live, I may be poor, and I might lose my life. BUT, the treasure of knowing God makes it all worth it.
Being rich in God is all that matters.
The Egyptian guy and I are going to be good friends. He doesn’t know it yet. But it is going to happen.