All of this thinking occurred just before bedtime, and as I normally do at night, in the process of closing down my computer, I just had a last look around. A post on our sidebar caught my eye by Te Deum laudamus!, Book Review | The Price to Pay: A Muslim Risks All to Follow Christ:
The man lived to write about his epic and heroic journey into Catholicism. In fact, it wasn't a journey, it was a roller-coaster ride, running at a fast pace, with many ups and downs. As one priest said, "if you didn't know he survived, you'd have a heart-attack reading the book."
Throughout the book you see God initiating contact with a man who has no knowledge of Christianity, much less Catholicism, other than the false notions served to him by his anti-christian culture. You then see a man's free-will response to each grace God sends him. Divine providence is visible so many times throughout the book, I lost count.
The book is ultimately hope-filled and triumphant. It was fascinating to see how some people today pursue Jesus and His Church with the boldness of yesterday's first Christians. His thirst for Baptism and the Eucharist catapulted me into an examination of conscience of a very different kind. He wanted badly to share his new found faith with his family in a country where certain death awaits one who converts from Islam to Christianity...
Well, I downloaded the sample and was grabbed by the seat of my pajama pants! So I stayed up quite late reading it after getting through the sample and then buying the book to see what happened next, and I think I finished it the next day.
Afterwards I just felt stunned. I couldn't write about it, I just needed time to process what I'd read, especially the concept of a family who would want to kill a member who converted to Christianity because of the shame of it to the family. To want to kill a family member because of the shame they bring, I can't get my head around that.
I was also in awe of the man's courage. I think it's easy to get comfortable in one's place in life and not go out on a limb because of the disruption it could bring. That was very much in the forefront of my thinking over that period of time.
A couple of days later, I wrote a very short post linking to another post on a recent court case that involved bloggers and all hell broke loose. If anyone really wants to understand a little of what lead me to writing that short post, I recommend reading The Price to Pay as a starting point.