It’s after midnight, and my 5-month-old hates this daylight-savings thing so I should “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but I can’t.
I can’t get Shama’s murder off my mind.
And it is shocking.
Shama and her husband were corralled by a mob of Muslims, imprisoned and tortured for two days, and then thrown into a brick kiln and burned. These actions were condoned, encouraged, and even incited by Islamic leaders who claim that Shama had defiled the Qur’an.
I could summarize more details for you, but it is hard to type through blurring tears of disgust and weariness and anger. And I’m not crying because this story is so awful, although it is.
I’m crying because I’m tired of it.
In the four years that I’ve covered Islam-driven persecution, I’ve seen hundreds of stories that are this bad…or even worse. Shot, hacked, run over, poisoned, raped, starved, chained, beaten, slandered, robbed, and beheaded… In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
If you’re reading this, then you know this feeling too.
Weary, weighty, worn-out disgust. Hatred for a blind, wicked world that keeps on defending a religious system which keeps on purging and killing any dissenter in order to keep itself “pure.”
It is times like this that the last thing I want to do is pray.
What I want is to call fire from heaven and avenge my sister. Because, as an unbelieving friend, in conversation about my job, asked me, “Cate, what good is a dead Christian?” And it is times like this that my heart snaps out that same question to God. “Lord, don’t You see how Your people are burning in Pakistan? Do You realize that Shama’s four children are now motherless and fatherless?”
Yet even as I think these thoughts, I stumble over the scandal of the Cross. God sent His own Son to be tortured, beaten, and killed.
And if I had been there, at Calvary beneath the cross, looking up at the blood dripping off of Christ’s ankles, would I have guessed that God’s glory was on display?
So tonight, I’m praying for Shama’s family. For Christians in Pakistan. For my brothers and sisters under Islam whose hearts are craving deliverance. I’m praying for the reality of the the Resurrection to illuminate their darkness. I’m praying for the wild and glorious promise of a “new heaven and a new earth” to be real to them. For their Shepherd to walk with them through the pitch black shadow of Death.
I’ve got my dad’s copy of the “Valley of Vision” open on my lap, open to a Puritan prayer that says:
“Though here my spiritual state is frail and poor,
I shall go on singing Calvary’s anthem…
only a clean heart can sing by night and by day,
and such a heart is mine when I abide at Calvary.”
Friends, the days are evil, but we must keep on singing Calvary’s anthem. It is the only response to Islam and persecution that can make a lasting difference.
Singing it with you,
– Cate and the team at Smyrna
Cate, a graduate of Patrick Henry College, serves as Smyrna’s Senior Research Editor. Wife, mom of two crazy kids, she knows the challenge of making time to pray for the Persecuted and testifies that His grace is sufficient!