It is perhaps, by now, a famous picture… nowhere near as popular as some others…
It doesn’t look like anything special – until you understand the context.
It was early in 2011, still the early days of what would eventually be dubbed the “Arab Spring”. It was Egypt’s turn and tens of thousands gathered in Tahrir Square. Some reports suggest a million people would eventually gather in protest. Others argue the numbers never exceeded three or four hundred thousand. The numbers are irrelevant to the photo.
There was, is… and continues to be tension between Arab Muslims and Arab Christians and that tension was, is… and continues to be the cause of senseless violence perpetrated by individuals and groups claiming either title.
Understand, I have no proof that this is the case – but the picture has been reported around the world to depict the following: A group of Muslims knelt to pray. Apparently, this was offensive to some… so the Christians joined hands and formed a circle… a ring of protection around their countrymen. A wall that was designed to defend those whom they would have been justified in abandoning.
I put to you that this is the faithful response of a praying believer. Not to fight or demand rights but to stand in defense of… to stand to protect those who, for whatever reason, cannot protect themselves.
Church, we spend too much time arguing doctrine… demanding our rights… trying to correct, coerce, castigate, blame, demand, humiliate, question, knock down, promote, beat, frustrate… and nowhere near enough time praying.
…so when the battle comes we have all the right words… but no real power.
We have no strength to stand ourselves, much less strength to protect the weak.