THEY DID NOT DENY
The bright red ribbon that had been tied in Amira's long beautiful hair lay on the ground beside her, dirty and tattered. Her parents had been thrown to their knees; their hands tied behind their backs, and made to watch the unspeakable suffering of their child. After what seemed to be hours of enduring torture and rape for her faith as a Christian, little eight year old Amira looked into the eyes of her parents for the last time and slipped into eternity.
Her limp unresponsive body was then decapitated and tossed aside, as though it were just another bit of trash. The villagers, appalled by the unspeakable acts of evil done by these men, refused to witness any further bloodshed, and with that they turned their backs and closed their doors, while Amira's parents were beheaded.
Still, not far from the scene, a 15 year old Muslim boy named Jamail hid in fear of ISIS and mandatory recruitment. He shook uncontrollably as he witnessed what his mind could not fathom. Jamail's parents had already decided the best for their son. Giving him what little money they had, Jamail was to flee north though Kurdistan, to the coast of Izmir, in Turkey, where he could buy passage to freedom, and start a new life with his cousin who lived in Marseille.
But before he left that night, Jamial's mother kissed her son good-bye, and pressed something in the palm of his hand; it was Amira's tattered red ribbon,"Tell her story. Tell what happened here today."
Jamail made it to the coast, and boarded an old wooden ship, along with two hundred other men, women and children, seeking refuge and freedom. While on their journey, all had stories to tell of the atrocities suffered in their villages and towns. Not surprisingly, the stories told were very similar.
Finally, Jamial spoke up. Many sat in silence as he told the story of Amira and her parents. Those close by could not help but notice the red ribbon clasped tightly in Jamail's hand, nor could they miss seeing the tears welling up in his eyes. This was a young man that no one would ever forget.
Later that night the voyage of Jamail came to an end, as the boat hit rock and sunk off the coast of Greece. Nearly a hundred passengers drown, including Jamail. Those who made it to shore found refuge in the camps that had sprung up all over Macedonia and the neighboring regions. Amira's story was one of many that spread throughout these camps, finally reaching the ears of relief workers and missionaries.
It was an exceptional story of extraordinary faith found in the heart of a small child, faith that was stronger than the men who took Amira from this world. And, Jamail, he lives on now as part of the story, a Muslim teenager who remembered the last words his mother spoke to him, "tell what happened here today."
Bits and pieces of Amira's story were gathered from events that occur every hour of every day in some village or town in the Middle East. Few people in the Western world have knowledge as to what extend ISIS has gone to, or is capable of, such as the justification in the rape of five year old children, performed as a righteous decree against those who oppose them.
As the days grow darker and the hearts of men turn cold, I can't help but wonder, "do I have the unshakeable faith of a small child?' It is a question that many Christians ponder, and are never quite sure of, until they are faced with some form of persecution.
There is very little I can do for those suffering in the Middle East and throughout the world, whether Christian, Jew, or Muslim. Yet, I have the freedom to write. And the written word can offend fight a battle far better than the sword.
In February 2015 ISIS released a video, compelling the world to witness the horrifying events of that day, as 21 young brave and courageous men knelt on the shores of Tripoli, beheaded for their faith in Christ Jesus. Among these men was a non believer, from the city of Awr. While he listened to the singing and prayers of those who were about to die, he too confessed Jesus, as Lord and Saviour, yelling out, "Their God is my God."
And the man from the village of Awr, Mathew Ayairga, confessing Jesus as Christ...Lives now Where did their courage and faith come from? For myself, I hear it expressed beautifully in a song: Kari Jobe, Forever (Live)
No one is beyond God's forgiveness and love, neither Amira's captors nor those that beheaded 21 brave and faithful young men on the beach of Tripoli. But, there is a time coming when God will draw a line in the sand, having no forgiveness left for those who cross over it.
The following organizations have virtuous boots on the ground helping to fight for those persecuted by ISIS:
*Victor Marx, With God All Things Possible, CBN interview 2015July 11, 2014 5:06PM PDT
While many of us know the difference between an immigrant entering the United States in search of a better life verses women and children fleeing for their life, not everyone realizes the decision made in response to this grave tragedy will define who we are as a nation, and the effect it will have on other nations faced with a similar circumstance.
If we are unable to understand the value of human life, for fear of our security, and the sacrifice that comes with the challenge, then we are in jeopardy of losing the spirit that made this, that made us, a blessed nation.
The issue is not just security and sacrifice, but obedience to a law that was first decreed by a higher power, a Creator, a God, who commanded us to "love thy neighbor as thy self."
When human life is threatened, one can expect a fence to be climbed, a door to be barged through. Not one person, if faced with the exact same circumstance, would behave any differently.
As a nation, we are facing a challenge, looking into the eyes of women and children, eyes that reflect an image of who we really are; hopefully that image is one of compassion.
This world is constantly witness to the unfortunate plight of mankind. And, while we cannot manage, solve or conclude all these issues, we can be an example, for the better.
We must believe that there is a little piece of the Creator in every one of us, put there for the purpose of showing mercy and compassion.
As a nation, let's not lose that, it's what makes us great.