Ravi and the Sheik

Posted by on Jul 21, 2008 in Teaching | 0 comments

Ravi and the Sheik

Ravi Zacharias was the 2008 Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer. He told the following story, excerpted from his keynote address at The Cannon House in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2008:

Please forgive me if this illustration is a bit sensitive. I don’t say it with any ill intent. Three years ago, I was with the Archbishop of Canterbury. He’d taken five of us to the Middle East to talk to the leaders of all factions to bring together some kind of semblance of peace, some discussion. There were many of those appointments I chose not to go to because of our nation’s caution on whom to see and not to see.

But the last day, I saw one of the leaders of Hamas, one of the four founders. I went there for one reason; I had one question for him. He gave us a great meal, told us of eighteen years he’d served in prison, some of his children had been lost in suicide bombings, and this and that. And I had a question. I said, “Sheik, I may never see you again and forgive me if I’m asking you the wrong question. Please tell me, what do you think of suicide bombing and sending your children out like that?” I didn’t like his answer. I couldn’t say much. The room was full of smoke.

After he finished his answer, I said, “Sheik, you and I may never see each other again, so I want you to hear me. A little distance from here is a mountain upon which Abraham went 5,000 years ago to offer his son. You may say the son was one; I may say it’s another. Let’s not argue about that. He took his son up there. And as the axe was about to fall, God said, ‘Stop.’” I said, “Do you know what God said after that?” He shook his head. I said, “God said, ‘I myself will provide.’” He nodded his head. I said, “

I said, “Sheik, I just want you to hear this. Until you and I receive the Son God has provided, we’ll be offering our own sons and daughters on the battlefields of this world for many of the wrong reasons.”

It was quiet. We walked out and the Archbishop just put his arm around me. As I was about to get into the SUV, the Sheik came over and he just patted me on my face. He kissed me on both sides. He was a strong man; he pulled me to him. He said, “You’re a good man. I hope I will see you again someday.” That’s all he said.

Click here to read Ravi’s entire address, which is well worth your time.

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