THE SOUL is shaped by words, images, & experiences.

THIS BLOG is about those things that have left their impression on me. I'd love for you to comment on what affects you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Closer Look at My Enemy

In the soup kitchen of the refugee center, where I volunteer one day a week, I meet a lot of different people from all over the world. Today a gangling, swarthy, rambunctious man sallied in and greeted each worker. We exchanged names and he asked me where I was from. "The U.S.," I said. "Where are you from?"

He stood completely still, silent for a moment, and then he replied, "I am your enemy. I'm from Iran."

I stared straight into his large, dark eyes. "You are not my enemy," I told him. "Our governments may be at odds, but to me you're a person like any other."

He laughed. "I know," he said. "And I like many things about America, most especially its music." He went on to describe the era of songs he liked ("pre-Louis Armstrong"), explained his reason for being in Athens ("political asylum"), and then he settled down at a dining table to eat. And that was that.

When you take a closer look at people you find them no different than you. As the Bible points out, there are only two types of people in the world: Lost sinners and saved sinners. The saved are those who have trusted in the sin-cleansing blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior to all mankind.

Do we have enemies? When you get right down to it, we have only one. Satan. He hates every man, woman, and child on this earth, and he is trying to destroy as many as he can. His methods are deceptively subtle, and we need to be wary of him. The devil is the only person we should hate and war against.

Let us take heed to the words of the Apostle Paul. He says in Ephesians 6:10-12:

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

It's easier to love others when you know who the real enemy is.

For insight into present-day Iran, read what an American traveler recently wrote about the country and its people: The Other Iran.

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