My maiden name is of french origin: Pettibone, or literally “Little Good”. My dad has always emphasized that it really means little AND good. Yet, despite my family heritage, I have not changed my profile picture to include the French flag.
It is not because I’m indifferent to what happened on Friday. My heart is very heavy, and I’ve even made the comment that this could have a bigger impact than 9/11.
But I am hesitant to join the rally. For a rally of “us” can quickly become a mob against “them.” And who is “them?” Terrorists, yes. ISIS, probably. But for many people, “them” will broaden to include all Muslims.
We quickly forget that Muslims are also children of Abraham. They worship the God of Abraham as they best understand how. And we, too, worship the God of Abraham as we best understand how.
A careful study of Daniel 11 (see the video series found at www.islamandchristianity.org), seems to indicate that both Muslims and Christians will be a part of the remnant that is left standing when Christ returns. But this will be a small group—those who are truly seeking to worship that same God who has been most clearly described as Love.
But there will be a bigger group, a group that chooses instead to worship the god of Hate. Some will see this as two groups, one carrying the label “Muslims” and one carrying the label “Christians.” But these will not be worshipers of the God of Love.
Hate is hate whether it’s directed at an over-secularized Frenchman or a Sharia-promoting Syrian. And hate can literally do Pettibone (little good–without the and).
As the world chooses sides for a conflict that seems to be at our doorsteps, I choose not the side of the French or the Syrians. I choose that little team that has refused to bow to the god of Hate. I choose love. This team may be little but it is full of goodness—just as my dad defines Pettibone.