(As I dive a little deeper into the story I want it to be known that the friend I am talking about is not a part of any of our circles of friends, but is a friend of a friend. I would not write so openly about a person in our circle of friends until long after the situation had passed and only then with permission. The reason I'm choosing to write openly about this is because I think we have much to learn in how we respond to things we disagree with as followers of Jesus. For the sake of blogging I'm going to call her Samantha and will say she is from Egypt.) A friend was asking me about Rob Bell's new book, Love Wins, the other day, which got me to thinking about my friend who just aborted her baby. One of the main points that Bell is trying to make is that heaven and hell are not other-worldly destinations one goes to after death but both are present realities as well as eternal.
I think this point signifies Samantha's life. Samantha grew up with her parents in Egypt where her they were fairly well off. They came to America for business opportunities but unfortunately their business did not goes as planned and they were struggling financially. Samantha was sent to live her Aunt when she was 16 because her parents could not pay the bills. When Samantha was 17 a man asked her Aunt if he could have sex with her and her Aunt approved. So for several months to a year this man began raping Samantha with her Aunt's permission!
Can you imagine living in Samantha's shoes? Your parents send you away to live with your Aunt who then turns on you and let's some man twenty plus years your age have sex with you whenever he wants! At what point is it okay for a Christian to say, "WTH?" Do you blame your dad? Your mom? Your Aunt? This man? God? Where do you go? Your in a far away land with no friends, no family that seems to care, and no where to go.
You see this is the back story. On the surface we look at Samantha and ask why she would abort her child when their seemed to be other options. Can you see why she may have trust issues? She is now 24, but this is still a very real and present reality. I think it is safe to say that hell is a present reality for her and it has nothing to do with the judgment of God. As followers of Jesus, it is not our place to point the judgment finger. God is best suited to do that because He knows the entire back story. Our place in the story is to love Samantha, get to know her story, and serve her in a way that blesses not only the soul but her present reality.
As we do this we will gain her trust and attention as well as that of the world around us. The gospel is more than words, the gospel is a message wrapped in action and deeds. As we do this we will discover more heartbreaking stories but even more we will discover a beautiful woman.