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.
A few short moments taken to restore a woman to health had kept Jesus from the bedside of a girl who lay dying. Messengers arrived with the news that Jairus’ little daughter was dead, striking fear in his heart as they destroyed the hope to which he clung.
Slightly Obsessed #209: Look Up
An ancient king faced certain destruction as enemy warriors amassed before him in a surprise attack. His response is our answer for the trials that threaten to destroy us today.
Slightly Obsessed #208: Scorched by Trial
In the gray dawn of another day, I am spent. I can pray no more. There are no more words I can say, no entreaty with which to reach my Master. As the night shadows fade before the rising sun, I open my Bible. In the space between darkness and light, I need to hear His voice.
Slightly Obsessed #207: The Real Avenger
The current popularity of Marvel Comic movies and spin-offs has brought a series of ancient mythical deities to prominence. People used to actually worship these flawed heroes, but the real Avenger is at the door.
Slightly Obsessed #206: A Portrait of Faith: Willing to Learn
Sometimes it’s hard to discern God's voice above the noise in our head and around us. The Bible encourages us to keep listening and keeping trying, because like anything else, we are trained by practice.
Slightly Obsessed #205: A Portrait of Faith: The Courage to Trust
Trust is a gift we give someone who has earned the right to ask for it. It’s the bond between two people who have a history between them. Trust is hard-won and easily lost.