Muslims and Christians

 

Crescent and Star            

Not many people will read this and even fewer will know that what I am about to write is absolutely the truth.

At 9:40 p.m., Monday, February 19, 2007 there appeared at our front door two men dressed in green uniforms.  Yes, they were to tell my twenty-three year old daughter that she is now a widow.  It is the most gut wrenching experience I have ever had to personally witness.  It is just like you see on TV and in the movies… “On behalf of the United States Army we regret to inform you that your husband Sgt Buddy James Hughie has been killed in action.”  As her daddy I just had to stand there and watch it all unfold.  I was powerless.  I encourage each of you who find your way to this post to GOOGLE “Sgt Buddy James Hughie” too see what a remarkable young man (25yrs old) he was at the time of his death.

But that is not the purpose of this post, I will reveal that later.

I never had a son and what most people don’t know about Buddy is that he never ever, not once met his father.  He didn’t know anything about him.  Buddy worked with me in my business for nearly a year.  Side by side each day we rode in that work van.  One day we sat down for lunch and he says to me; “Before we eat I have to ask you something.  I would like your permission to marry Alexis.”  That was just the kind of guy Buddy was, old fashioned, honest and not wanting to offend or hurt any one.

Buddy volunteered to go back to Afghanistan.  He had already made one tour and didn’t have to go back (yet).  I can still see us standing in my back yard, him telling me that he was thinking about making being an Army medic his career.  And I can still see in my mind’s eye me telling him (face to face) “yeh, but Buddy, don’t you understand there will be people shooting at you.  Right?”  He said that he would be okay.  And  ultimately on an eternal scale he is but it is very difficult for us.

I have run the course of emotions over the years.  The emotion or “character flaw” (in me) that bothers me the most is that I now have an inherint distrust of all Muslims.  I mean, it was a Muslim,Taliban sniper who shot and killed Buddy while he was saving (ironically) another Muslim’s life.

One day I received a forwarded email from a friend and they wrote “I thought you would like this”.  I read the email and it was  confirmed through Snopes that Tyson Foods, through Union negtions had given their Muslim employees October 1 as a  holiday instead of Labor Day.  I thought “so what’s wrong with that?”  I mean as long as they don’t get both paid  hollidays, what’s the big deal?  Then it dawned on me.  People have come to know me a Muslim hater.  My admitted hattred of Muslims would grieve Buddy’sheart.  My hatred would basically say to him that he was clueless about the people he gave so much to help.  Buddy really loved the Afghani people and they loved him.  The locals even made a beautiful wooden chest for baby Cooper and inscribed (with inlaid gold) Cooper’s name on top of it.  For dirt poor Afghani locals to make such an effort and sacrifice to honor a man who’s son they will never meet tells me volumes about their character and the character of the man they are honoring.

Here was the clincher for me.  I remembered Timothy McVeigh a caucasian, American citizen.  Although McVeigh was not a Christian but rather agnostic…  How can I hate ALL Muslims for what some extremists and yes even that lone sniper are doing if I am not willing to do the same for fair skinned people?!  I have come to understand that it is much easier for me to justify my hatred if my hatred is focused on an individual or group who is “different” than I.

I can’t imagine the difficulties that many loving and honest Muslims face day-in and day-out.  Over these few years I have come to better understand my (personal) biases.  I won’t be so bold to say that I have conquered them but I can say with a high degree of certainty that I do readily and purpousfully try to evaluate each individual or incident that I come into contact with based on the facts (as I currently understand them).

How can I BEST honor the legacy of Sgt Buddy James Hughie?

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11 Responses to Muslims and Christians

  1. Lindsey says:

    This is a good moment. I think God smiles on us when we admit our faults- because it’s through that admission that he can draw us closer to him.

  2. Amber says:

    You are amazing Mssc54! I think I should introduce you to what a good muslim is so that you can know how kind and wonderful most of them are.

    My friend Sherif is from Egypt. I have been friends with his family for about wow 8 years. His children are like nieces and nephew to me. If you ever met this man, you would instantly know that he is truly a man of God. He beams goodness… his smile is warmer than the sun. That is what everyone who meets him thinks. Not just me.

    Its hard to step out of our own prejudices. Its been hard for me to let go of my own. But we take a deep breath, and we move forward. God puts these challenges to us so that we can become better and more..

    You are such a good man. It really does take a man to talk about stuff like this and share it openly and as humbly as you have. Thank you. You made my day.

  3. mssc54 says:

    Lindsey; thank you for your encouragement and insight.

    Amber;lol I don’t know about being amazing but as my pastor tells me there are few people willing to be intrspective and he believes me to be one.

    As I drove about town today I was quite surprised at the number of Muslim looking individuals I saw. Testing, testing, testing… sigh.

    Thanks too for your encouragement.

  4. SanityFound says:

    Wow the world really does need more people like you, perhaps this journey will touch and inspire more people to follow suit. I seriously can’t stop grinning and have the strongest urge to hug you!
    Thank you for this, it really has made my day in ways I can not explain!

  5. I can remember preaching in a church the first Sunday after 9/11 as a guest. I spoke on the need for missions, and asked how it was possible to ask God to bless America as though He belongs to us and carries US citizenship.

    Muslims need to know the Lord Jesus Christ just as white western types. Missions is a vital need, and learning to look at others through the eyes of Christ who “must needs go through” places like Samaria helps us to realize that we are what we are, where we are, and who we are ONLY be the grace of God.

    Thank you for your thoughts on this matter. May our prayers be with all who do their military duty, and that among them there will be more young men and women who are committed to serving the Lord Jesus Christ and in doing so will be salt and light in parts of the globe where it is extremely black!

    Thankful for grace,
    The Desert Pastor

  6. mssc54 says:

    Sanity; Thank you, it has been a most difficult journey and I freely admit a journey I must remain vigilant on.

    Desert Pastor; All I need to say to your post is, amen.

  7. Stephanie says:

    Wow. Just wow. You are a good man mssc54. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. glaize says:

    Hello mssc54. I know I’m a little too late to comment on this but here I am anyway. I googled about your son in-law and though I am nowhere a fellow citizen, a hero is a hero and I salute him with the respect and honour he deserves. Lord bless his soul.

    I can understand why the hatred was churned at that time. He was more of a son than just a son in-law, right? And a brave, kind-hearted, loving one at that.

    Here though, I express how sorry I feel for those extremist. Of course, their religion is not to blame. It simply is just their understanding of their religion, mixed with their human nature.

    I was like you once. I used to think that my religion is the best but there comes a time when suddenly, suddenly I realized how shallow I’ve been to think so. I especially didn’t like Muslims. But now I understand, no matter what happens, it all really comes down to human nature. Simple as that.

    Thank you for sharing.

  9. mssc54 says:

    Glaze, I welcome youe comments. Often the glaze is the last thing applied.

    Enteresting the comment you made. “Here though, I express how sorry I feel for those extremist.” I thought something similar. When I see on television any extremist with their children I think “another generation lost to hatred.”

    Hatred is hatred, it knows no bounds but in order for it to be stopped an awakening needs to happen. Most people would rather feel comfortable in what they have always known than consider that it is even remotely possible they are wrong.

    It’s been that way since the beginning of time.

  10. cordieb says:

    Very truth filled post and comments. Your ability to see things in a different light shows that love conquors all; there is no love in hatred of a people. Again, thanks for sharing. PLL, Cordieb. Glaize, I’m sorry to inform that chocolate came after the glaize this time – lol. PLL, Cordieb.

  11. mssc54 says:

    Cordieb; it was an ugly and difficult journey. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

    Thanks for stopping by.
    M

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