Slightly Obsessed #097 "Who Will Tell Them?" by Pamela Thorson on 2015-01-21 09:46:20
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” - 2 Timothy 4:1-5
He sits on an old sofa, his gun nestled against his arm. He is pale and sweating. He doesn’t look like other terrorists we see on t.v., although he dresses like them and sports a beard. In this video, recorded before his death by suicide bombing, he rambles for the camera. One moment, he delivers a fiery threat to the west. The next moment, he preaches in an effort to recruit others. Behind the bravado is a man struggling with fear as he tries to convince himself that his sacrifice is a righteous one.
His face fills with dread. Sadness. Hate. He speaks an awkward mix of English and Arabic, mirroring his misery as an American Muslim growing up in middle-class America.
His mother is American. His father is Palestinian. He grew up in Florida, earned a high school degree and attended college in the States before dropping out and traveling to Syria.
There, on May 22, 2014, Moner Mohammad Abusalha, the man who grew up in two worlds, became the first American suicide bomber in Syria. He was 22.
Before he died he spoke about life in his native America:
“I was never happy. I was always sad and depressed…I had to walk from work home. I begged Allah, I cried, ‘Allah, get me out of this land.’ All you do is work forty, fifty, sixty hours a week. And then you go waste it on garbage. This is what you do your whole life.”
Abusalha lost his own life and committed a heinous act of murder in his quest for fulfillment. His story is our solemn reminder that there is a generation of people growing up around us who are empty. Earning money and buying things doesn’t satisfy them. They don’t know why. It’s up to us to tell them that they are made for more. There is something to live for.
If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you know this.
And if we let fear or complacency or personal bias or political correctness keep us from sharing the truth with others, they are lost and we are responsible.
We may never know if anyone gave Moner Mohammad Abusalha a chance to find salvation and something for which to live.
I hope someone tried.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Slightly Obsessed #187: He Reigns
Has a more beautiful declaration ever been written? Without that truth, we would have been forever lost to life. But because God had all authority firmly in His grasp, Satan had no chance of wresting the universe from Him. Because God reigns, Jesus could heal sickness, forgive sins, and conquer death. Because God is in control, evil was outwitted. Because He is Lord, there is power behind the words, “It is finished.”
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.