Counting the Cost

CC BY-NC, Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P., Flickr
CC BY-NC, Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. Flickr

The Islamic militant group Boko Haram recently kidnapped hundreds of Christian and Muslim teenage girls in northern Nigeria. Video of nearly half the girls surfaced showing the leader bragging that all had supposedly converted to Islam and been “liberated.”

That’s the part that provokes me—“Michael, what would you do?” Knowing Christ as I do and my love for him, how would I handle the situation when the time came to make a vow to Allah? In no way am I trying to cast aspersion on any of the girls; instead, I’m attempting to place myself inside their horrible experience and explore my own spiritual moorings.

I have never experienced that level of persecution, for anything. So I cannot predict my response with 100 percent certainty. Making bold promises from the quiet of my home and a decision about God while staring down an assault rifle is a world of difference psychologically.

Yet this is why we strengthen ourselves in godly devotion. We prepare for the day of trouble directly aimed at our faith in Christ, not unlike in the early church and for those today in persecuted areas. Hopefully, we keep in mind that our profession might cost us everything, all comforts and our very lives.

Jesus didn’t try to save his life for us, so will we save ours for him?