During the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Leah and I traveled with the Christian Peacemaker Teams to Baghdad, believing that the way of Jesus called us to interrupt the unjust war our country was initiating. Three days after U.S. planes bombed the hospital in Rutba, our American friends’ car hit a piece of shrapnel on the highway outside of town and landed in a side ditch. Iraqis stopped by the roadside, took our bleeding friends into their car, and drove them to a doctor in Rutba. “Three days ago your country bombed our hospital,” he said, “but we will take care of you.” He sewed up their heads and saved their lives. When we asked the doctor what we owed him for his services, he only said, “Please, go tell the world what is happening in Rutba.”
The more we told the story, the more it sounded like a modern day Good Samaritan story. A good Iraqi—a good Muslim—not only saved our friends’ lives; he also showed us what God’s love looks like. We can’t be saved apart from the stranger, even the stranger who seems to be our enemy. The gospel of Rutba is that hope lies in the “enemy.”
Read the rest of Jonathan's post about The Gospel of Rutba (on his blog)
Check out the Gospel of Rutba website and read the book.