Welcome Reader Friends! Enjoy this stand-alone short story by D.I. Telbat, “Refugees of Grace.”
Refugees of Grace
by D.I. Telbat
Jamil Skah coughed through the dust as another missile pounded the structure upstairs. When the air cleared, he tended to the civilians who had taken refuge in his relief center basement. Syria was imploding, though its people had been caught between militants and the government for years.
“Trust in Jesus.” Jamil smiled, and his hand brushed over a young woman’s head as he passed her. “Even when God’s people face death, we know He will raise us up again. We are not worthy of His gift, but He has paid our sin debt out of love.”
His words seemed to bring a calm to the basement shelter, even as the barrage intensified outside. Jamil wasn’t sure which rebel faction was trying to kill the Christians this time—in the name of their freedom fighting. He wasn’t even Syrian, but Moroccan, and yet he had found this torn land and its people the object of his care for Jesus Christ.
Just then, he used his body to cover two children as ceiling debris began to fall upon them. With his eyes closed, he prayed for strength to continue, and for courage to do what needed to be done in the aftermath of the attack.
The Arab Spring had incited all sorts, and with Syria locked in a deadly struggle, Muslims from around the world had converged against the government. Jamil hadn’t been following the latest news reports, but he knew God was at work, even in the chaos and horror. Many had been coming to him for answers so he knew God was even in the midst of this terror.
Suddenly, an increase in the explosions sounded outside, and vibrations shook the building, but the attack didn’t seem to be against the Christian shelter this time. Jamil stared at the ceiling, expecting the worst, maybe a misplaced round, but after a few minutes, the artillery faded away.
The silence was filled with whispers and prayers. Dozens of those seeking help in the building were Christians—many of them recent converts, urged toward the Cross by the heightened persecution. Jamil moved through the shelter and found no more wounded than there had been before the recent shelling.
“I need three strong men,” Jamil voiced to the room. “The soldiers who were attacking us were attacked in turn. There will be wounded outside among them. Who will help me?”
Six men, all with families of their own, rose to their feet. The man closest to Jamil stepped toward a reinforced door that led to the upstairs rubble.
“Tell us what to do, Jamil. Perhaps we can give them what they did not give to us.”
Jamil breathed a prayer of thanks and joined the faithful at the door. On his shoulder was a simple emergency medical kit.
“While we live, we live like Christ.” Jamil turned the deadbolt and gripped the door handle. “And if we die, men, we die doing what He would do.”
The men nodded once in unison, and Jamil opened the door.
~ The End of Refugees of Grace ~
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COMING UP: Join us next time for “Soldier of Living Hope” when David reminds us of Who the True Object of Hope is.