The long trip from Iraq was almost complete. The plane stopped for passengers in Detroit, mother and son deplaned and refused to re-board. Final destination was Grand Rapids…but stubborn Mom argued, missed the flight, finally arriving three hours late. During the drive to our host-home I was informed that, “Ishmael is the promised son!” Now that I got that straight I had to wonder, “What have I gotten us into?”
War ravaged Bagdad was home for Bushra and five year old Hamza. She was bringing her only son, born with a deadly heart defect, to the US for life-saving surgery. American soldiers initiated the connection to an organization that facilitates surgeries for third-world children.
Hamza received open heart surgery free of charge. His doctors treated him as if he was their own child. Dozens of Americans helped this Muslim mother and son, but Bushra remained angry.
Whenever Bushra disagreed with me or a member of the medical team she would pronounce in a strong voice, “As you wish!”.. followed by sharp head and hand gestures, indicating her disgust.
We tried to keep the news off in the house during the time of Saddam Hussein’s trial, but calls from Iraq, with regularity in the middle of the night, informed in detail! Hours after his hanging I was met in my kitchen by an angry woman who pounded her chest and exclaimed, “Saddam is in heaven with my God!”
Four months of daily “As you wish” and I finally understood that this mother could not accept goodness from non-Muslims! Humiliated that her son needed our help, she refused to display any genuine gratitude.
Bushra was combative to the end. We stopped for a meal on the way to the airport. Placemats displayed the Chinese Zodiac…prompting a loud, “Aha! See it is true that you people eat dogs, monkeys, and tigers!”
Waiting to be sure that mother and son got on the correct flights, I received my last command…”Go home, you look tired!” As you wish Bushra…
“He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” (Genesis 16:12/NIV)
The purpose of this blog is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it.