Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Cup

"In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and you, sealed by the shedding of my blood.  Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”  Corinthians 11:25

I met Shirin shortly after she arrived from her Islamic country. She was fully clothed in a long cloak and tight head covering.  As I helped her with English, I grew to love this beautiful upper class woman.  We walked through so much as she suffered with domestic abuse.  It was a sad day when she gave me some of her possessions to guard while she went into a women’s shelter. I was hopeful this would be the beginning of a new start.  However, she could not handle her fear of living alone and went back to her husband.  A divorce is often considered by the Muslim community to be the woman’s fault and the thought of that shame overwhelmed her.  I watched her suffer more as the years went by.

Shirin loved to hear about Jesus and I prayed for her often.  Before she moved to another city I gave her a china cup as a parting gift.  She reminded me of a beautiful delicate china cup that had been chipped and cracked; still as beautiful as ever, but now very fragile and sitting on a shelf only for display in a china cabinet.

A couple of years after she moved I called her and she poured out her story once again. The domestic violence continued while her parents across the ocean, in typical Islamic fashion, kept urging her to forgive her husband. Shirin continued to accept her prevalent cultural mindset that Allah rewards those who suffer, so she suffered on.  She disclosed that every night before she goes to bed, she drinks tea from that china cup I gave her.  I was surprised and touched.  I explained the story of the cross once again and she moved closer to Christ.  How I longed for her to understand that Jesus, our Treasure, was broken on her behalf and loves her and wants to heal her. He knows how to heal the brokenhearted and abused.  If only Shirin would fully understand that she needs to drink from another Cup, even more valuable than the cup I gave her.  When she drinks from the cup I gave her she remembers me and the love I feel towards her.  If she could only understand that the Cup we drink from speaks of an even greater love for her. I hope the china cup I gave her will always prompt that truth to come to her memory. 

Next time you drink from the Cup in church, remember Jesus great love for us on the cross and pray for Muslim women, like Shirin, to come to treasure that Cup above all cups. There are Muslim women who resemble perfect china cups but there are also many who have been broken. Both need the Lord.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the Cup which reminds us of Your broken body on our behalf. We are grateful that You can make us  whole and new if we let You!   In Jesus’ name, Amen.