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November 27, 2018

Do Not Fear the Unknown

By Annie Garman

Do Not Fear the Unknown

I was absolutely shaking as I drove my minivan, packed with my four little daughters and one of their friends.

Next to me sat a Muslim girl who I had only briefly met a month before. We were having a church roller skating event, and I had invited the international students from our community college ministry. Not only had this particular student said yes, but she also had asked for a ride.

I shook with fear because I was out of my comfort zone.  I had a couple of other Muslim friends, but none of them covered their heads with a hijab like she did. What have I gotten myself into?    

It was interesting to watch the reactions of a room full of Christians when I arrived with my girls and a Muslim girl in tow. Some tried to hide their surprise, some were hospitable, and some stayed away. Regardless of their reactions, the truth was that it was somewhat uncomfortable because it was it was somewhat unknown.

It wasn’t every day that a Muslim showed up at a church gathering.

The unknown is almost always scary. 

As the year went on, this girl has gone from a stranger I feared to a friend. As we spend time together sipping tea at our English Discussion Group, trust is growing and she is opening up about her life.  We are crossing the bridge from the unknown to the known.

My own faith is being strengthened as I get to peek underneath the veil of Islam and see its destructive teachings. I am convinced more deeply than ever that Jesusis the way, the truth, and the life.

Muslims are not our enemies. Muslims are some of the kindest, most hospitable people that I’ve ever met. Yes, we have all heard of extremists, but the Muslims that I have met, and grown to love, want peace just as much as we do. They are confused, deceived, and worship a lie.

Muslims are in deep need of Christ to break the powers of darkness that grip their souls with lies. If you follow Christ, you have the truth. Don’t let fear paralyze and prevent you from saying hello, asking simple questions, and inviting them over for tea.  

As you push yourself to get to know people of other religions that God has put around you, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).  This is no task to be taken lightly, and we must be prepared.

While this won’t be easy, I implore you to fight the paralyzing fear of the unknown. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment” (2 Tim. 1:7).

May we all, hand in hand, cross the bridge to loving Muslims, controlled by love instead of fear.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annie Garman

Annie B. Garman is a pastor’s wife and mother to four excitable girls, and author of Unexpected Grace: When Your Child is Born With Half a Heart. She and her family serve at Pillar Church in Northern Virginia where the traffic is thick, but the church planting opportunities abound. Their network of churches is attempting to plant a reproducible gospel-centered church at every Marine Corps base around the world (praetorianproject.org). Her biggest passion is to know Christ and make Him known in whatever situation she finds herself in. Annie shares her thoughts on motherhood, mayhem, and the meaning of life at anniebgarman.com.

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