By The Rev. Canon Dr. Titus Presler
[Pakistan reflects on receiving a beating, 3/4/2014.]
When prayer began pushing up through the shock as my friends drove me away from the scene, it was this: “Friend Jesus, this and so much worse is what your Christian brothers and sisters have been experiencing here in Pakistan for so long. This and so much worse is what many of your Muslim brothers and sisters have been experiencing here for so long. Now I know it first-hand. I’m not thankful for the beating, Friend Jesus, but I am thankful for the knowledge. And for still being alive.”
In those moments of literal powerlessness I experienced the paradox of the gospel of the cross that Paul illuminated so well: “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” We don’t know how the story of this particular struggle will end, whether the Church in its weakness will regain its rightful place or not. The attack on me has dramatized that a serious political and legal struggle is underway, and that is a blessing. In Islamabad I continue to wait for substitute documentation for the vandalized visa, which is a discipline of patience. Meanwhile the prayers and letters of Christians around the world sent to the Bishop and me sustain us. Such solidarity is what defines us all together as the Church: different limbs and organs supporting one another in Christ’s mystical body in the world.