“Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.”
Pope appeals for the release of Pakistani Christian mother facing death for blasphemy.
How remarkable, I thought, that the pope would appeal on behalf of a single individual. But I was struck more deeply when the broadcaster read the Holy Father’s actual remarks.
Over these days the international community is, with great concern, following the situation of Christians in Pakistan, who are often victims of violence or discrimination. In particular, I today express my spiritual closeness to Ms. Asia Bibi and her family while asking that, as soon as possible, she may be restored to complete freedom. I also pray for people who find themselves in similar situations, that their human dignity and fundamental rights may be fully respected.
Wow, I thought, the pope feels a spiritual closeness to one single individual whom he’s never met among the billions in the world. Talk about the heart of a pastor and shepherd!
But then it occurred me, as the Vicar of Christ, how could the pope not care for one individual with such sincerity and closeness? It’s not just a qualification he met in his job description, it’s in his nature and it’s why he became pope; he loves our Lord and our church so sincerely that he will disregard precedence to reach out to a single soul in need.
As individuals, and especially as singles, it’s easy to feel like a number in the crowd.
For Asia Bibi, she is one of thousands being persecuted and killed for her belief in Christ. And yet her life is necessary because it is the result of a thought of God. So it is with each of us.
You are the result of a thought of God. And because of such, you’re necessary and valued. No suffering or joy of yours is absent from the heart of God.
The pope reminded of that important lesson through this story. But he was also reinforced the importance of carrying my brothers and sisters in Christ in my heart. I cannot imagine what Asia Bibi is experiencing right now, but I’ve kept her in my heart these past few days.
We are our brother’s keeper, and while we may not be able to physically care for Asia Bibi, the prayers of the faithful no doubt are surrounding her in her time of trial and triumph. And the strength of prayers is beyond our measure.
Pray for Asia Bibi, and for all our brothers and sisters suffering right now. May all know they are individually the result of a loving thought of God.