Monday, February 9

off topic : humbling

This past weekend was full of humbling moments. The most recent of which is actually world wide news by this morning. Saturday evening we were on our way back from a party with friends when my friend asked, "Do you remember Egyptian Phil from Wheaton?"

That may seem like a funny way to ask, but so many Wheaties were from other countries or grew up as missionary kids that it was not at all uncommon to link them together with the country that largely contributed to their identity and personality. I will confess I was often intimidated by these students who spoke at least two languages fluently and seemed to understand cultures and politics far better than I. But those of us who grew up in the States could glean so much from their experiences abroad and they helped to shape the ever widening perspective during our years at Wheaton.

Back to Phil. Yes, I remembered Phil, even if he probably had no clue who I was. "He's been detained for protesting." Really? Huh. Many of my former classmates are living in other countries, involved in social justice issues, so I guess these things are bound to happen. What I wasn't ready for was the amount of articles I would find online the next morning and the first hand accounts of what many were saying was "a kidnapping."

Here I am, sipping my tea in my pajamas with little or no threat to my well being, while a family is desperately trying to find out where the secret police have taken their son and why. I'm humbled when these stories that I often gloss over in the news, now hit closer to home. I know that name. I recognize that person. And then I feel a bit helpless. What can I do from the comfort of my own little desk chair? I can't go protest in Egypt for his release as some are doing, I can't call my contacts at the embassy - I have none. So I am left with the realization that while I am a "doer" and would much rather put things into action, I must sit and pray and wait.

{poster from the facebook group in support of him : portrait courtesy of Tod Roeth}

Here are a handful of blogs/articles that I found:
First hand account
BBC News (which is currently a top story on their middle east page)
Daily News Egypt
Tabula Gaza (Phil's own blog)


kristin noel said...

We'll be praying as well.

Angela said...

It's hard to sit and wait when we feel helpless. I will be praying along with you and also praying that God grants you patience as well.