Hiding in the Light

Sharing excerpts from an excellent book I just got done reading:  Hiding in the Light by Rifqa Bary

So much for the "innocent until proven guilty" philosophy.  There's something about a prison jumpsuit that equalizes the playing field and passes sentence without saying a word.  But like before I was intent on my public face being as bright and unaffected as I could make it.  So as I approached the group, I smiled at one of the guards and chirped, "Good morning!"  "Humph!" he snorted, mocking me.  "You look so happy to be in jail.  Bless your heart," he smarted off sarcastically whle attaching heavy chains to my hands, waist, and feet..."  ... I kept telling myself, What an honor, Rifqa, to be suffering for Christ, walking in the footsteps of your Lord." 

I actually had two types of cancer.  One of them (rhabdomyosarcoma) was commonly found in young children, while the other (adenocarcinoma) was generally seen only in menopausal women.  I was neither, of course.  And yet I had both.  Taken together, they gave me one of the worse and weirdest forms of uterine cancer anybody had ever seen.

In the basement of this kind woman's house on a rainy night in Ohio, looking for the first time at my brown bald head, I made a deal with God.  "You know, Lord, the Bible says a woman's hair is her glory.  Well, I am laying down my glory tonight, all my strength and my beauty, for Yours."  I paused in my thoughts as the weight of this truth consumed me.  "And when it grows back," I said to myself in utter, undeniable faith, "will You let it be more beautiful than it was before?"

...my oncologist, of course, who looked me straight in the eye, trying to convince me with his solemn countenance.  "Rifqa, dear, do you realize what you're doing?  You are going to die if you go through with this."  I wouldn't be moved.  I'd decided.  I was dying anyway.  What the cancer wasn't doing, the chemo was.  The path I needed to walk had become - I don't know how to describe it exactly - very clear to me.  And chemotherapy wasn't part of it.  ... I knew in my spirit that God was calling me to do this, and I decided I would rather die in obedience to Him than live in disobedience and possibly survive the treatment.  ... my life was not my own anymore...

Through my own experience, I have gained a passion for justice that has not left me.  Ultimately, I know it is God who executes true justice.  There is no judicial system that can restore to me everything I have lost; it is God who avenges.

Not everyone's story can be laid over everyone else's and used as a grid or template for determining how a person is supposed to react.