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Secret Believers. A Note Following RamadhanAugust 12, 2013
The many forms of freedom.
Perhaps you are wondering where I have been these past weeks. We had the blessing if electricity with Ramadhan coming to a close and the Eid ul Fitr Moon being spotted in the sky. Every country had conflict with some groups choosing to follow Saudi Arabia in the celebration of the sighting of the moon and others making their own announcements based on local sightings and the opinion of the local imam.
Things have been difficult. My parents are intent now on me getting married. Their first preference is that I find someone myself. While ideally they would love to be able to say to me 'Maaria feel free to find your own husband whenever you want and if you are called to singleness then go ahead and embrace that for your future'.
But the reality of the world i live in is that I will always need a man in this part of the world. I will always need a 'Mehrm', a legal and 'permitted' male guardian. Yes I have brothers, a father and they count. But Baba knows that in a world with so much conflict, with increasing violence and the fear of terrorism looming at every street corner anything can happen and then who would take care of us. More than that is my adamant refusal to marry someone who grew up in America. My cousin has proposed several times.
Only a week ago when we had power long enough to get the computer on and get onto the internet, I received a video clip from my cousin. She is keen for me to marry her brother. She recorded a family picnic in the US and in the background was a beautiful lake and some young people playing ball and others choreographing some dance moves to hip hop. Young girls and boys played together and just relaxed. There was nothing immoral about what I saw. In fact for a moment I thought 'Wow such peace, such calm and such an absence of fear!'.
God will provide a husband for me. I know He will. But for you who read this. I have glimpsed something of the freedom you may have if you live in the west.
Able to go to a park and walk freely and not worry about who is listening and watching, to be able to run, to be able to play with your friends and not be concerned that you will be attacked with acid thrown on your faces.
Able to look to the sun and not worry about who would come and curse you for sitting brazenly with your arms soaking in the brightness of the sun and creating vitamin D! Friends, there you can sit with your Bible where ever you like. I know believers who cannot.
Friends do not take your freedom for granted. Friends, enjoy your freedom, give thanks to the Lrod for it and use it for the extension of HIs kingdom, to further the story of Aasiya Bibi who has not seen the sun, only felt summer heat and humidity or winter's freezing temperatures.
Friends sit in the open and proclaim to those who you can that Jesus is Lord. Friends, do not forget those of us in countries in the Muslim world. I want nothing more than to know that the form of freedom I saw on that video clip is being used to the glory of our Lord Jesus.
We need you to use the freedom you have. While I do not have the freedom you have, friends I have this freedom in my spirit. Despite the sound of prayers 5 times a day, despite the stifling heat beneath the chaddar with which I am covered when I go to the bazaar, despite the fear or terrorism, I know this: I am not alone and Jesus is Lord. Lets celebrate.