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Friday, May 12, 2006

For the Love of Saddam...could a soul be lost?

I met someone who may be classified as a political enemy, and maybe even a spiritual enemy. This morning at work, I had to call an individual, and rather than handling business over the phone, as he was nearby, he asked to come in and handle things in person. I made sure a conference room was available, called him back and set the appointment.

Something told me (my Guardian Angel, maybe?) told me to pray before this meeting. Something told me that something was wrong and that I needed protection, so I offered some prayers as I prepared for the meeting, and when I went forward to meet the gentleman, I was collected, professional, and apparently, protected.

I greeted him with a handshake, as is typical here in America, and showed him to the conference room just off of the waiting area. He chose his seat and I sat across from him and described the format for our meeting. He verbally expressed openness and seemed eager to get things taken care of. I apologized in advance for some questions I had to ask of him and assured him that it was formatted and I intended no offense. He understood and we were off to a good start. The man was clearly intelligent and well spoken. We were respectful of each other. All in all, it was a successful meeting.

You may be asking what was so odd about this that I had to post about it? What is so strange about the above conversation that took place?

Because beneath the veneer, I learned who this man really is, and I learned that technically, he is our enemy. That's a pretty harsh statement, and it begs an explanation. So I'll tell you.

This man's car was stolen, and it was partially his fault for he left the keys for his high-end vehicle and some thieves hopped in and helped themselves. The man is a victim of a crime; he lost his property, and possibly even his identity. He had a right to be angry. He lost personal documents that can be used to fabricate fraudulent accounts and he is aware that he will suffer the consequences of this for years to come. Again, he has a right to be angry. I sympathized with him.

After our formal business today, the man continued to vent, and I only wish that this was recorded. He expressed his anger with profanity, and during this, he expressed his anti-American sentiments. He is from Iraq, I learned, and he has been in the U.S. for over 25 years...he is a citizen, and has raised and is still raising a family here.

I realized somewhere early on that his life priorites were a bit confused when he stated he will never touch his car again because it has been violated. He ridiculously described that it is like his car has been raped. He compared this to his 5 wives...the man told me, (mind you, I'm a woman), that is is as though another man touches his wife, he no longer wants his wife...and this is why he has had five wives.

It was difficult, but I was actually able to keep my mouth shut. I'm sure my Guardian Angel had his hand flat against my mouth, for I'm not sure I could have remained silent without God's grace. To compare a car theft to rape??? How that undermines the crime of rape. How his expressions and reasons for abaondoning his wives spoke of his own double-standard, his own usage of a woman for his own personal agenda. She is used goods, she is impure...then what is he???

But I digress.

It gets worse.

The man stated that everything is wrong in America. He blames America for all the wrongs in his life, and all the while, he bragged about his $700,000+ home, his high-end cars, and even though he was driving one of them, he complained that his insurance company would not pay directly for a rental while they complete the business end of his claim. The man is not destitute, far from it, and yet he complained he was being victimized again...over a situation which was not precarious. I've never seen less of a victim in my life than this man, and yet, he played the victim card as I'd never seen it played.

But this was not the problem. I have seen this before. (As an aside...I've noticed that those in the most destitute consitions tend to be far more accepting of them and prepared to survive in spite of adversity...while this man, with the high end cars he simply did not want to drive as it's not June yet, whined and pleaded and vented as though he was being murdered.)

Murder. There's an interesting word. That's the word that defined this man's true values. He wanted to murder the men who stole his car, because in "his country" (Iraq, that is), under Saddam Hussein, the penalty for theft is death. The penalty for many things was death, and this man was angry that he could not simply kill the people who cause this trouble.

Now, do not argue that this man was only venting. I've heard much of the same before, but you were not present to look into his eyes and hear his heartfelt justifications; you were not there to realize that he was entirely serious and if it were legal, he would not have a problem with carrying out the deaths of anyone who offended his sensibilities.

He justified this by his country; in Iraq it was legal, and in his estimation, Saddam Hussein is a good man.

Yes, those were his words. The man slaughtered thousands of people. He violated the wives and daughters of many men in his rape rooms. He ordered these rapes. He ordered murders, and this man, the man in my meeting, was a HUGE fan of Saddam Hussein.

I did not think it would have been effective to discuss with him the dignity of life inherent in each human being.

I have never met a person who so freely expressed these real beliefs. I always thought that if I did, I would express my own opinions, and especially if that person was a man, he would feel the wrath of God via a woman and learn his place.

Not so much. I kept my mouth shut. Amazing, isn't it?

I do not feel anger, though, and I was not fearful. What I feel for this man is pity; pity that he cannot see the value of human life. Pity that he values both people and possessions so little that he can discard them without another glance if they have been sullied or sinned against. Pity that even as he denigrated the country he embraced via his citizenship, he has no problem buying into "Western values" so much to the degree that his money has become his god. Evidenced by his throwing away a car he might get back only becase someone else took it for a spin.

I felt pity because this man does not have Jesus Christ. He can look upon the cross and feel nothing becase he came from a culture (and possibly a religion) that does not value life, and this has been integrated within him. He has been fed a deception he thinks is truth, and so when he is faced with crisis, rather than forgiveness, he seeks the death of the one who sinned against him. Not hypothetical death..but true death. Death for his car. Death of a man or two in exchange for a shiny trinket which will rust and become junk anyway in a matter of years.

I harbor no love of thieves and criminals, but let's face it...if they want to take a car, then so be it. Why demand their lives? If their lives are so pathetic that they must steal cars, then they are living out their own punishment of misery on earth. Those of us with homs and cars and a life builit without the commission of crime are doing well; the misery of the street is not our choice as it is for thieves.

Why seek death for those who have chosen a pitiful existance? They need prayers for conversion, not death.

But this man sought death, and I have no doubt he would carry it out.

I realized during his tirade why I had been prompted to pray. Even through his profanity (which I did ask him to curb), and even through this anti-American, anti-life rant, I remained calm, I listened to him, and by the end of our conversation, we had found points of identification. We shook hands again, and apparently he lumped me in with the percentage of "good people" who do not cause harm and thus deserve to die and both of us left the conference room laughing.

I do not look forward to further conversations, and so I ask you all to pray for me as I continue to meet with this follower of Saddam Hussein as our business does carry on. Please pray that I will continue to exhibit Christ to him, and not my own ego.

These people are among us; they are our co-workers, they might be friends, and we meet them as clients and maybe even business partners or supervisors.

I do not think he is a bad man; I think he has been horribly mislead, and so I entrust him to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and apparently I am being used to bring Christ to him through...what? I still haven't figured that out. But if I could remain silent through the man's tirade, I know God is somewhere in the works and he has a plan.

God help and bless us all.

But I still have to ask...how many souls has the likes of Saddam Hussein lead away from the Lord...and how can the rest of us help to bring those souls back?

6 comments:

The Phoenix said...

I linked to you here:
http://thedragonandphoenix.blogspot.com/2006/05/misguided-vs-evil.html

Ray from MN said...

I'm somewhat surprised that he was willing to do business with a woman.

But if he's been here 25 years, I suppose he has had to make compromises before.

Do you suppose his five wives live here? Are they legally married under our system? I'd bet they do if he has a comfortable income. And since I believe an "orthodox" Muslim can divorce a wife just by declaring it, probably over time there may have been many more than five wives.

Adoro Te Devote said...

This man may not be Muslim...he may not have any religion at all, but he clearly is a product of his culture, nonetheles.

I have done business with many Muslims, however, and basically, they don't have a choice. There are no men who handle my job currently, in our city.

I am aware the culturally, Muslims cannot shake a woman's hand. Now, I offered my hand to this man in greeting and had he declined, I would not have been offended.

But then again, we did not discuss religion and so I don't know if he even has one.

Hannah said...

Hi Adoro,

Nice blog! I think you are sharply perceptive about people, especially evil people based on this and your other posts. I'll pray for this man and for you to witness to him in the manner Christ wants.

Hannah

Terry Nelson said...

Quite an interesting post. I think the man may have been doing more than just venting. It sounds to me as if he was targeting you for his personal battle. Oftentimes a person will say things that will hurt another and cover it up as simply "venting". Do you know what I mean? I think he's not an exception. I really think some of the people who have immigrated here and even those who have become citizens still have misplaced loyalties to the Middle East. The United Sates is great to get rich off of but they have no love for the Country or it's way of governance, except when it benefits them. I think he really wanted to let you understand this. I believe your guardian angel did protect you. God bless! Terry

Our Word said...

Adoro,

I can't understand why you'd want to find another job - you meet such interesting people! :)

Seriously, I think Terry is right - you have a devoted guardian angel, and we who care about you are very grateful for that.