A Prayer For Fayez

The murder of three generations of a Muslim family in London, Ontario on Sunday evening has shaken our nation to the core.  The hatred that motivated this crime is evil.  Hatred may not always manifest itself in violence and terrorism as it now has against Muslims in London and as it did against Muslims in Quebec City, but it is where hate always leads.  Jesus said that if we hate someone we have already put them to death in our hearts.  Enough of hate.  Let’ s be done with hate. 

This must be a day for love.  Jesus called us to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.  It was then they asked Jesus, “But who is my neighbour?” And in response he told the parable of the Good Samaritan.  It was Jesus’ way of saying we live in a global village where your neighbour does not always look like you or believe as you do, but where the imperative is always to love.  Love is the only answer to hate and love will win the day. 

But what does such love look like in the days after a Muslim family was intentionally run down and killed on account of their faith?  Many of us know Muslims through work, recreation or in our neighbourhoods.  Reach out to them in the next few days and thank them for who they are and tell them how horrified you are and how horrified we all are. 

Love must also be manifest in prayer.  As we pray for an end to hatred we will be planting the seeds of love.  The nine year old son, Fayez Afzaals, has survived the terrorist attack.  He lost his parents, his sister and his grandmother.  We must pray for him too and not simply for a recovery from his physical wounds, but for healing from the attack and the great grief he has to bear.

The London Muslim Mosque at 151 Oxford St W, London, ON N6H 1S1,  is hosting the vigils that have followed.  Let’s take a moment and write to the leadership of the mosque and tell them we are offering ongoing prayers for Fayez and his grieving extended family and faith community. 

Historically, Baptists were often the victims of religious discrimination and persecution and it is for this reason we have traditionally championed the cause of religious freedom.  The Muslim right to practice their religion in peace was also promoted by the earliest Baptists who insisted on freedom of religion for one and all.  We are free.  Let us use our freedom for nothing less than the purpose of love. 

A Prayer For Fayez

Gracious God, comfort and heal Fayez.  May the memories of his family be preserved in his heart and when he longs for the voice of his mother or father, may he hear them by your Spirit.  Surround him with love all the days of his life and protect and preserve his life that in his living he might bear witness to your sacred image in which we were all created.  And aid us all O God in casting out the evil spirit of hate and embracing your gift of love for one and all.  Amen.