Because my daughter teaches a number of Middle Eastern university students, the recent riots in that troubled region have been of particular interest. We have prayed for those in the midst of the unrest, particularly now unfolding in Libya, and it is especially distressing to hear that family members and friends of those in my daughter’s classes have lost both life and limb.
Still and all, with the widespread upheaval also unfolding in Egypt, the Sudan, Tunisia and elsewhere, I believe there is cause for measured and reasonable hope. Using every means of media at their disposal, from texting and tweeting to cell-phone and Facebook, people are saying they want out of oppression. They are not revolting to be shackled in the chains of radical Sharia law. They are standing up to enjoy the privileges only accessible when they leave their homelands to study in places like Connecticut and California and Colorado.
Yes, it’s true that power vacuums can be filled by those whose ignoble intentions are only to capitalize on chaos. But it’s doubtful that the hundreds and thousands of souls giving voice to their frustrations and faith will be willing to trade one set of manacles for another. So, amidst this tremendous turmoil, I believe trees of new life are being planted, even starting to bloom.
Frankly then, if I have to deal with higher priced gas at the pump, I don’t care. Losing a dollar here and there isn’t fun, but it sure beats losing an arm, or a life. I have my liberty, and it’s a great thing to hope and watch as millions and millions of people are courageously striving to receive theirs.
Amidst the tyrannical backlash trying to stamp out the fires of revolution, while the UN has been traditionally willing to play spectator to the rampant and willful destruction of defenseless people, I hope the US will not be so inclined. As a Christian, I believe our President and our country can and will make mistakes, but we must not, at this time, content ourselves with being idle. We cannot ever be a perfect force of reform, but we are well able to be an active and powerful catalyst of freedom.
With the passage of time, the fruits that are borne will show what seeds were truly planted. From nation to nation, the results may not all be the same. Nevertheless, countries where people can freely choose their leaders may also turn out to be places where they may fully come to believe and follow Jesus Christ.