Sunday, February 6, 2011

Simple Yet Powerful

“…But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God.” I Corinthians 1:18b
“Simplistic writing style but profound message…” a review of my book said. I kind of cringed. I confess that I am simple. My writing, evangelistic sharing, teaching, praying, faith, cooking, interior decorating, dress, and style of living are all simple. Although useful and impressive, books with advanced vocabulary and grammar structures are laborious for me to get through. I think simple is beautiful, uncluttered and powerful.

Maryam projected an image of simplicity. You might not think she would be worth the time to befriend and share Christ with. She was not well read, educated, informed or exposed to the wider world. She also was exceedingly shy. So, you might pass her by for those you could engage with intellectually. Every week we would read through the Toddler’s Bible story book and then I would pray for her. Because her English was minimal I found myself praying like a child so she could understand. One day she surprised me by saying she would like to pray, too! There was much we hadn’t discussed about faith in Christ. I wondered how I should handle her request. It’s not often a shy Muslim woman simply states, “I would like to pray, too.” I certainly didn’t expect that to come from Maryam. I trusted God was in control and said okay. I was taken aback. Out flowed a river of words in her heart language, which I couldn’t understand. I kept hearing the word “Isa” over and over. One day she said, “I very much like praying. When I can’t sleep at night I pray.” Her eyes were sparkling. She was childlike with a beauty of innocence. She reminded me of a beautiful white rose opening up to the sunshine. Another time after I read First John 1:9 to her I asked her what cleanses us from sin? She replied, “The blood of Isa.” Many Muslims who are educated may not have come up with that answer.

Frequently I engage in stimulating conversations with bright university students from Islamic nations. They are full of hopes and dreams for their futures. They will be our future leaders, researchers and scientists. I love to present the simple and yet profound truths of the Good News of Jesus Christ to them. In some ways I thank God that I’m not able to speak Bengali, Persian, Malay, Kurdish, etc., because I’m limited to explaining the Good News in the simplest way possible to my Muslim friends from all over the world. A barrier becomes a gift! I am forced to learn how to share what is really necessary to know. We don’t have to know every language. The Holy Spirit knows all of those. We just need to know that the message of the cross is simple, yet deep. Simple is powerful and beautiful when the Holy Spirit is in it!

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for how You communicate deep truths and love to us in powerful simple ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.