Joy was a missionary who had taught school in Iraq for seven years. True to her name, she spread the joy of Jesus’s love to whomever she met. Many of her Muslim students fell in love with Jesus through the beautiful songs Joy sang. Joy had the voice of an angel. Listening to her sing inspired the soul, melted the heart, and was like a drink of cold water in the hot desert sun.
Then, one day without warning Islamic State fighters invaded Joy’s school. One fighter grabbed Joy and threatened to kill her on the spot if she resisted him.
She was blindfolded, pushed into a truck with other prisoners, and driven to an Islamic State building. They locked her up in a room for two days with nothing to eat or drink.
Then, on the third day, a man came in and started ordering Joy to take off her clothes. She refused. Instead she started singing the most beautiful rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” that she had ever sung.
The man pulled out a knife and threatened to kill her if she refused to do his bidding.
Joy continued to sing. The man then grabbed her, shook her and yelled at her as he brought the knife closer to her neck: “I told you to take off your clothes!”
Joy ignored his order and continued to sing, she couldn’t stop singing. As she sang, the man began to listen, he soon dropped the knife and let go of Joy.
A few moments later, he began to cry. He sobbed uncontrollably, and fell to his knees, and buried his head with his arms.
Joy stopped singing and looked at him and prayed for him in silence. She prayed as she never had before, for an enemy, one who most likely hated her and everything that she loved and believed in.
After a few minutes, the man looked up at Joy and said gently: “Forgive me. Please sing that song again, it is beautiful.”
Shocked, and expecting the worst, Joy was surprised and began to sing again.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:43-45)
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)