How do you forgive an enemy?

08 Jan

Dangerous LoveBook Review: Dangerous Love: A true story of tragedy, faith, and forgiveness in the Muslim world, by Ray Norman

With an opening paragraph like …

I knew my chances of survival were almost nil the moment I saw the gun—and the expressionless look in the eyes of the turbaned Arab who had stepped out of the sand dunes next to our stationary, four-wheel-drive vehicle. My panicked thoughts and exploding emotions quickly converged on the survival of my ten-year-old daughter, Hannah, cowering in the seat next to me. When the man turned his aim from my head toward her, something rose up within me that was more than just instinctive protest. “No! No! Not my daughter!”

…you hope you have picked up a page-turner you won’t be able to put down. And Ray Norman’s book does not disappoint.

When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City on 9/11/2001, Ray Norman was serving as the director of World Vision in Mauritania. In that position, he was in his wife’s words, “the director of the largest, openly Christian, humanitarian organization in the country. What’s more, you are an American and this is an Islamic republic … And do you understand the spiritual forces that must be at work in all of this? Surely we will not get through this unscathed.”

In the opening chapters, the author describes his background of growing up as a missionary kid in West Africa. More importantly, he describes how God gave him a burden for serving the poor. He and his wife, Helene, spent fifteen years serving among Muslim communities in Niger, Oman, Cote d’Ivoire, and Egypt, before they landed in Mauritania. They learned how to truly love those in need.

After the events of 9/11, security was heightened for Norman’s family. After a few weeks and things seemed to return to normal, security was lessened. On October 17, 2001, Ray decided to take his daughter, Hannah, to the beach. It was there that Ray and his daughter were shot. The rest of the book chronicles their journey to safety, recovery, health, and forgiveness. God brought them full circle and allowed them to return to Mauritania where they were able to meet with their attacker and forgive him personally.

The book tells the story of how the love of God compels us to take dangerous risks. It is a powerful, moving testimony of grace and love.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Posted by on January 8, 2016 in Books


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