• Meditations – A Warm Smoggy Sky

    “Look,” Stephen said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  –  Acts 7:56

    Your church
    has been attacked
    by a suicide bomber.
    Your friends were inside.
    You rush to the scene,
    and join a growing crowd
    to see the smoke still
    rising from the shattered
    windows and roof.
    People can be heard to say

    “They set it off where the
    women and children were sitting!”

    Your thoughts of family
    Christmas celebrations
    now destroyed
    of families destroyed
    cause anger to rise
    in your throat
    to choke you.

    Then it starts.
    Someone in the crowd
    begins to chant

    “Truly we believe
    in One God, God the Father,
    the Almighty, creator of…”

    Within seconds hundreds are
    chanting the Creed
    at the top of their lungs.
    It is an act of faith,
    but also one of defiance.

    “…We believe in one Lord,
    Jesus Christ,
    the only begotten
    Son of God,
    born of the Father
    before all ages…”

    Never before has this
    happened in public
    in Cairo.
    You have just affirmed
    the Trinity,
    the Triune God,
    and committed the sin
    of shirk, the worst sin
    of Islamic blasphemy,
    by citing words that
    in Islam are deemed
    polytheistic.

    You know that any extremist,
    were he present,
    would want to kill you
    with his suicide vest
    for saying these words.

    “…Truly we believe
    in the Holy Spirit,
    the Life-Giving Lord…
    We await the resurrection
    of the dead,
    and the life of
    the world to come”

    The Creed ends,
    and everyone starts again
    while the smoke rises.
    And again.
    And again.
    And you do not care
    if anyone wants
    to kill you.

    The warm smoggy sky
    could open in a flash
    to the glory of heaven
    and your time on earth
    would come to an end,
    and you don’t care.

    With thanks to Raymond Ibrahim

    el-butrusiyya-church-2

    el-Butrusiyya Church, Cairo, Egypt – December 11, 2016