Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God

Lent Week 4 – A Christian Iraqi woman I met told me how she had been driven from her home by ISIS. She said: “When we left our town, it was the first time I asked God ‘Why did you do this to us?’….”.

The trauma suffered by thousands of Iraqis feels physical when you listen to their experiences. It seeps into your own soul. It brings you to tears.

How can God allow this? Where is He in this? How can we see Him in such traumatic circumstances?

It is hard to understand.

But when we look at the life and teaching of Jesus Christ we see that tragedy can be followed by new life. Death and resurrection are at the core of the Christian message.

When I have interviewed refugees I have sometimes asked them this question: ‘How has the tragedy you have gone through affected your faith in God?’. Often they have said: “Without God we would not have survived”.

A gift from God

A Christian Iraqi woman told me how she saw God in the miracle of a white cat! She and her family have been through unimaginable suffering – her father brutally murdered; her mother dying; the young family living in a cemetery, then fleeing their own country.

In their very modest flat in Madaba (a city south of Amman) she prepared coffee and offered us Iraqi sweets. I asked her my question about how her faith has been affected ‘because many people would turn against God’. She replied that God has helped her get through everything.

Then she told me about her daughter asking if they could get a cat. The mother had explained that this was impossible. The next morning a beautiful white cat had come to their door and they adopted it. The mother saw this as a small gift from God. Just as we spoke, the cat came into the house and we took these pictures…

Mariam and her cat, a small gift from God

Jesus said: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God’. Perhaps in the simplicity and purity of our faith we might be able to see God during the most awful of circumstances. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”, says the Psalmist.

Mike Simpson, CEO

8th March 2018

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