It is reported that the “agreement between Rifqa Bary and her parents to settle their conflict through counseling has ended without a single meeting between the parents and their daughter” and that the parents are “withdrawing their consent to resolve the case.”
On Jan. 19, the parents had agreed that Rifqa should stay in foster care and that they would all go to counseling together rather than go through a dependency trial.
However, the motion filed Friday in Franklin County Juvenile Court states; “The parents now believe the entire deal should be thrown out because of misrepresentation and fraudulent inducement.” Apparently, despite their request, Rifqa, with the help of her attorney, had contacted the Pastor that had helped her run away.
Ok. I know how most everyone feels. But can I say just a couple things?
We can all make assumptions about the motivations of the Bary’s until the cows come home. But I don’t know them, and neither do most of you. Yes, it’s true that they are Muslims. Yes, it’s true that Sharia law is a very real danger. Yes, it’s true that the Bary’s have accepted help from CAIR and CAIR is a radical org tied to terrorism. But does that mean the Bary’s would be willing to murder their daughter? None of us really know.
I am a conservative, evangelical Christian. I can understand Rifqa, but I can also commiserate with the Bary’s. I have raised nine kids, and I, too, once had a 17-year-old runaway. She has since returned, lives nearby, and comes over almost every day, but I too, had to deal with other “Christian” families interfering – at a time when what I really needed was their support. They honestly thought they were helping her, but truthfully, they had no idea what was going on. They knew only the surface of my daughter – who had gone through four years with her father dying of cancer. We lost him when she was 16. Suffice it to say, these “well-meaning” people, in taking their ill-thought stance against the only parent she had left, did not help matters at all.
So, you say, “err on the side of safety for Rifqa.” Fine. But there are a couple of points I would like to make. They have to do with being Christian – meaning, Rifqa, being who she says she is. Those who aren’t Christian might not understand what I am trying to say. But those who are Christians know the following to be true. Being a Christian involves a heart for the lost and a desire to pursue God’s purposes. It’s not all about us.
Even if Rifqa never goes back to live with her parents, she, as a Christian, needs to honor them. She needs to treat them with love and respect. That’s just a fact. By not communicating with them, but instead, communicating with the people in Florida, even calling the man down there “Dad,” she is tremendously hurting her father and she knows it. That’s not Christ-like, and I am appalled that the family in Florida is allowing it. (Although their church now seems be trying to honor the parents and court.)
But even further – and here is where it gets tricky – Rifqa has the potential to be the “Esther” in her family. Up until now, she has not fulfilled the opportunity God has given her to be a light to her parents – showing them the way out of Islam. I pray that the members of her Ohio church are counseling her Christian walk, acutely aware of her need to be a Godly witness to her family. Being a Christian isn’t all about getting what we want. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Remember Jonah? We are to lay aside our own wants and take up the cross for others. There are verses I could quote, such as John 15:13 – but non-Christians might get their knickers all in a knot if I do.
As Christians, we are all called to bigger things. I pray we can all be brave enough to step up to the plate when God’s call becomes clear.
I’m not saying that I know what God is calling Rifqa to. Although David honored Saul, and Daniel braved the Lion’s Den, maybe God has called Rifqa to something else, shaking the dust from her sandal. God only knows what He has called Rifqa to. I don’t know – I am just afraid that in all the cacophony of voices, and apparently not-so-good Christian counsel, she might not know, either. I pray that whatever He is asking of her, it becomes clear and she is willing.
And I’m not saying that taking up one’s cross is easy, if that is what is called for. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want to run and hide if I were faced with what Rifqa is facing. All I am saying is; too often, we here in America forget what our faith is really all about.
I pray that God reveals to me exactly what He would have ME do, and I have the temerity and Grace to do it. Have you ever read “Safely Home” by Randy Alcorn? Wow. That’s a book that turns everything around. I highly recommend it.