September 7, 2011
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." And He laid His hands on them and went away. Matthew 19:14-15
Many thanks to retired military man John Perkowski (LTC Retired) for sharing the idea and background research for this Daily Devotion.
Abdul Samad is a 10-year-old boy who lives in Pakistan.
If the old poem is right and if Samad's life was normal, at the age of 10 he should be made of "frogs and snails and puppy dog tails." But in Samad's case, the poem isn't right, and his life has hardly been normal.
Last May Samad was kidnapped by militants in Quetta, a provincial capital in Pakistan. His kidnappers whisked him away from the life he had known, transported him across the border and there they gave him an education: an intense education.
After his kidnappers were convinced Samad was ready, they returned him to his native land with explosives strapped to his body and a target he was supposed to destroy.
Samad was arrested by authorities before he was able to complete his mission.
Others have not been so lucky. On May 1st, four civilians were killed and 12 were injured by a 12-year-old boy who blew himself up in a crowded market.
Pakistan's Ministry of Interior Affairs has condemned the practice of making children suicide bombers as "unforgivable, shameful, un-Islamic, and inhumane." To that all of us would agree.
As I thought about the real-life story of Abdul Samad, I began to wonder what do you say to a 10-year-old little boy to make him a suicide bomber? Do you threaten his family? Do you tell him he will be a hero? Do you promise him a martyr's entry into the heaven of Islam? Do you convince him that you and your terrorist pals are his only friends?
What do you say?
I know what I would like to say to Abdul Samad. I would like to let him know there is another way, a better way than the path these men want him to walk. That way is the path of the Savior -- a Savior who loved him so much He willingly gave His life so Abdul will never die.
I think life can have no greater joy than to let Abdul Samad and all of the world's children know that in Jesus they have a Redeemer who doesn't want them to hate or commit suicide. No, Jesus wants them to love as they have been loved -- and He wants them to live forever with Him in paradise.
This, I guess, is one of the reasons Lutheran Hour Ministries has all those offices around the world. Somebody has to let the Abduls of the world know about Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for my faith, my Savior, I give thanks. Now may I do what I can to let the lost of this world know You love them and wish to bless them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries