They Cry in Silence May/Jun 2009
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Mt. 5:44).
Those were the words Jesus spoke to His disciples in what we know as the Sermon on the Mount—words that traveled across the centuries to lodge in the heart of a 10-year-old girl in India.
On August 26, 2008, Hindu extremists burned a home belonging to a Christian family with whom Namrata Nayak was staying. WorldNetDaily.com’s Chelsea Schilling reported that Namrata and her siblings hid in a small bathroom. As the attackers left, they planted a bomb in a dresser. “While the little girl surveyed the destruction,” Schilling wrote, “the bomb detonated and burned her face.”
Namrata also has shrapnel wounds on 40 percent of her body. Her family carried her to a hiding place in a forest and then moved to a refugee camp in Orissa, India.
WorldNetDaily reported, “Hindus have offered money, food and alcohol to anyone who murders Christians and destroys their homes—especially pastors. Thousands of homes and churches have been destroyed, and Christians have been forced to flee the violence. Many have been doused with kerosene and torched after refusing to renounce their Christian faith.”
Furthermore, Hindu radicals have vowed to continue the assaults. They have falsely blamed believers for the death of one of their leaders whom Maoists admitted killing.
Despite Namrata Nayak’s permanent disfigurement, she has a message for Christians who may or may not be under similar attack.
WorldNetDaily said she told Asia News, “We forgive the Hindu radicals who attacked us, who burned our homes. They were out of their minds, they do not know the love of Jesus. For this reason, I now want to study so that when I am older I can tell everyone how much Jesus loves us. This is my future….The world has seen my face destroyed by the fire, now it must come to know my smile full of love and peace. I want to dedicate my life to spreading the Gospel.”
Indeed, the world may see in the disfigured face of this young girl the results of unprovoked hatred against people whose only crime is their faith in Jesus. But through her words and dedication to her Savior, we are allowed to look into the sanctuary of her heart and discover the sufficiency of Christ, even in times of unspeakable distress.
There is much emphasis today on personalities, on individuals the world deems worthy of following into the vagaries of a future over which they have no control. When the future is surveyed, however, we can be well assured that more will be accomplished by the Namrata Nayaks of the world than all of the religious and political movers and shakers we hear so much about. And though you may never hear of Namrata again in this life, her legacy of love and courage will endure because she believed—and that simple trust in the competence of her Lord translates into never-failing love, strength, and courage for all of us.