If you read nothing else, read this: Thou shalt love the Muslims as thyself. To treat those who are different from you as anything other than your neighbor is to dehumanize them, and with dehumanization comes the loss of the image of their creator. God doesn’t only love those who know about him, who love him, and who praise him — he even loves those who curse him. How could we not exhibit this same kind of love? Don’t we bear his image, and, more importantly, his name?
This past summer, I was an intern in Antalya, Turkey for seven weeks with my partner, Allie Anderson. We got to see what it’s like to do work and to be an M in a Muslim-majority country (99 percent to be exact). There, we learned more than we could ever learn in a classroom.
We learned how to see the world through God’s eyes and view everyone we meet as someone who is loved and could be loved more. We came to see that our God is alive and that his metanarrative of metanarratives didn’t just die and rot on a tree almost 2000 years ago. We came to see God because we went to see others.
We also learned that God is reaching out to Muslims and those who have yet to realize his power. There are only two kinds of people in the world: those who have yet to see God on his throne, and those who not only see him upon his throne, but also see him in every interaction, in every pair of eyes, and hear his voice in every hum of the breeze. We came to see that God is working among people, and having seen a glimpse of it, here’s how I can describe the experience: God is alive, he’s planning right this moment, he’s working with people and without people, and he is going to win. He’s actively working through miracles, dreams, visions and revelations among the lost and especially in places that do not allow workers to share the true joy of the Bible. God is working in places that people can’t. God is working in people that humans can’t reach. God is alive and he is doing miracles.
Hearing first and secondhand accounts of people who have literally seen him in a dream or vision, I am so covetous of this experience. Their faith starts and ends with seeing our redeemer face-to-face. What they have is what we Christians desire to have more than anything else: An encounter with a risen and living God. How could we not desire the same thing? How could we not pray this upon others? Go pray for your neighbor as you would pray for yourself. God is working, and he loves everyone made in his image, including Muslims. Know him and know peace.
Written by Riley Jones