We (a tiny bunch of believers) gathered in the back of a food storage area in Lebanon. The packaged food was to be distributed to refugees who had little to eat. As we huddled deep inside the center, we met a Syrian man (we’ll call him Joe) and heard his story.
“Joe” was a prominent Syrian man who turned from his Muslim faith to Christianity because of the love shown him in difficult circumstances. Not by just aid, not by just physical help, not by just the excellent schooling opportunities offered to his children, even though these facts were part of the way these Christians loved. But it was mostly the deep loving way they did all these things, the “no matter what” kind of love that touched “Joe” so deeply. Eventually Joe asked the Christians: “Why did you LOVE me?
Then there’s another touching story, one of a Syrian Christian. He works for Heart for Lebanon distributing food to refugees. He fled from Syria to save his life after witnessing the killing of his father and brother.
As we left Lebanon, our heads were spinning as we tried to process what we had seen and heard. Days later over breakfast, Saundria commented: “Love your enemies.” We agreed we had witnessed such love.
Here’s the way the Aramaic Bible in Plain English puts Matthew 5:44: “But I say to you, love your enemies and bless the one who curses you, and do what is beautiful to the one who hates you, and pray over those who take you by force and persecute you.”