Missing Things in a Locker


I used to work in an office with three other colleagues. We worked in shifts so we rarely got together. We each had our own locker in which to keep our personal belongings. One day I was shocked to discover that some of my things were missing. I did not have any suspicions toward any of my colleagues. The following day, the same thing happened and I discovered the loss of some other items. I used to put the blame on my wife, but when the same thing took place for the third time and all of my salary was stolen, I finally realized that the lock was broken. I knew for sure that one of my colleagues was responsible.

I angrily started to swear and curse in my old manner as I was before my salvation. I said, "If I have accepted Christ and you have seen me meek as a lamb, that does not mean that you can make fun of me by making me an easy prey for you.' I swore to get even with them and pay them back dou­ble. I made up my mind to break into their lockers and take all their belongings and burn them, leaving the lockers open, like Abraham had done with the idols. I wanted them to know the feelings of those who got robbed and looted.

I went and fetched a big hammer to carry out my plan. I closed the office, making sure nobody was watching. Wanting revenge, I grabbed the hammer with both hands and swung it in the air. As it was about to hit the lockers, I heard a gen­tle voice saying, "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing; be a peacemaker."

I turned around to see who was talking, but no one was there. I said to myself, "Oh, Lord, do You agree with what has happened to me? Your will be done. Please extinguish my fury and quench the fire of my wrath. I can hardly con­trol myself. Please give me peace." Suddenly I felt a strange peace enfolding me, as if nothing had happened. Guided by the Lord, I wrote on a paper the following:

My dear brother who opens my locker, I am sorry for not being able to meet your needs. Please write down all that you need and I, by the grace of God, will do my best to help you. To prove my good intentions and honesty, I will not replace the broken lock. I know that the love of God is exceedingly great to all of us human beings.

Finally, I hope that the peace of God that surpass­es all minds will keep your life forever.

Your brother

After writing that letter, I put it in my locker and left it as it was. I prayed and gave thanks to God for preventing me from being misguided by satanic thoughts. I went home and hugged my wife when she opened the door for me. She said, "Don't be afraid. If God is with us, who can be against us? As for the stolen money, the Bible says, `I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread' (Psalm 37:25). God can meet all our needs since He is our Provider.'

Two days later we got a surprise. One of my colleagues came to the office during my shift. That was unusual, so I asked him, "What brings you now?"

He replied, "I'd like to talk to you." "What do you want to say?"

He told me that it was better to go to a quiet place to speak. So we sat facing each other. He looked down and said, "I don't know what to say to you. I don't know what to do."

I said, "Tell me what happened."

He opened a small bag and showed me all the items he had taken from my locker. I couldn't believe my eyes. It did not occur to me that those things could ever be returned. I did not expect a man like him to be a thief. He was a reli­gious man who used to keep prayers regularly.

He explained, "Those are the things I took from your locker; please take them back and don't tell anybody. As for the money, I cannot pay you back right now since my children have been so ill and I had to take them to the doctor. I can pay you back on a monthly basis."

"You can take all these things; they are yours now," I told him. "I did not lie when I wrote you the letter. God will compensate me for everything; you take the money. I am sure God will provide for everything. Had I been dishonest, I wouldn't have left my locker open with a broken lock."

He said, "I just have one question. I want you to answer me frankly"

"Have I lied to you before?" "No."

I asked, "What is your question?"

"You speak like Christians saying, `Lord, Lord. You use the same words and expressions that I often hear from Gergis the carpenter, my neighbor, who's a Christian.'

I replied, "In fact, when I discovered that my items were stolen, I had two options. One was to repay aggression with aggression, tit for tat according to the Hadith that says, `He who dies without his money, he is a martyr,' and, `No one of you shall be a sissy, just take your due rights and pay attention to nothing else.

"The other option was not to repay evil with evil and not to avenge myself. If someone wants to sue me and take my tunic, I must let him have my cloak as well. Which of the two ways is better in your opinion?"

He admitted, "The second way is much better, of course." "That's what I did. I behaved in a way so as to keep the bonds of love and cordiality, regardless of whether that pat­tern of behavior comes from Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. What counts is the behavior itself. If I found such a behavior in Islam, for example, I would have behaved accordingly without hesitation."

He asked, "From where have you gotten this? Where have you learned these concepts?"

"I will tell you later. Now you are tense. Sometime later when you are rested, I will share with you, maybe after a couple of days or a month. If you are still interested in knowing, I will never hesitate to tell you."

Two weeks later, after he finished his shift, my colleague came to me and said, "Now I have simmered down and I am still interested to know the source of your teachings as you promised."

I told him, "I will see you tomorrow to tell you all that you want."

The following day, he met with me and asked me the same question. I said, "One moment." I took out the Bible and explained, "If you really want to know from where I have learned all that, read this Book."

"This is a Bible, God forbid!"

"Yes, this is the Bible and you are totally free to read it if you would like to know. You can take it if you want. If not, it is up to you.'

He picked up the Book and kept turning it on both sides and looking at it in astonishment. Finally he took it and got up to leave. I said, "If you encounter any difficulty, you can ask me."

For two weeks, he kept coming to me with several ques­tions. He continued to read the Bible until I noticed a big change in his life. His love of the Bible remarkably increased. One day he said, "This Book contains a great blessing. Since I started to read it, my relationship with my wife has gotten better and all of our differences have vanished."

I said, "Read more to know what you ought to do."

He absorbed the Bible quickly. One day, he came to me and asked me to teach him the Christian prayer. He wanted to know what it was like. I told him that it did not have a

specific form. "You can pray in any position using any style," I said.

After three months he came and surprised me by hugging and embracing me warmly. He asked me how he could be baptized. My friend had accepted the Lord and was now a tre­mendous blessing to his whole family.

I was glad to feel that God had really chosen me to work in His vineyard and to be one of His sheep. It was a privilege to be one of those who lead people, not to delusion and deception, but to salvation and eternal life. In the past, I used to catch people to bring them to destruction. How wonderful to work with the Lord, the Rock of Ages, the Savior Jesus Christ.

Paul

Used by permission In The Den of Infidels The Voice of the Martyrs www.persecution.com , p. 157-162.

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