Farzin & Nayyar

Farzin paced the floor as he waited for his wife to come home.  He knew he should pray, but he didn’t know how.  So far, the prayers of his new faith had consisted of pleas for answers and thankful whispers of newfound hope.  He wasn’t sure how he should approach God about his wife and family, though.

Does she know I am studying Christianity? He questioned himself for the one hundredth time since the night before.  Why had she not looked at him at dinner?  Why had she not spoken to him?  Will she despise him when she learns the truth? Had he put his family in danger?  What if the government found out?

“Enough!” declared Farzin as he covered his face with his hands. “Jesus, You are my Savior.  I want my wife to know You are the Savior.  Please me to tell her, and her to listen.  I cannot live without You, Jesus…  But I don’t think I can live without her either.  Please me tonight!”

Farzin heard the front door open. His wife and daughter were home.  Farzin’s heart beat in nervous rhythm as he realized that it was time for a potentially life-altering conversation with his wife.

****

Nayyar placed the heated leftovers on the table while the family found their places at the dinner table.  She sat across from her husband.  Sami was on her right, jabbering about the new iPhone that had just come out. Elham listened quietly but merely sampled her food.  Farzin was verbally responding to his son all the while trying to catch Nayyar’s eye.  She sighed.  It was time to end the cold silence she had been giving him.

“What do you think of this son of ours, Nayyar?” Farzin asked her with a smile. “I do not have his mind.  He must have gotten his brains from his mother.”

Nayyar shook her head and shyly glanced down at her plate.  He was forgiving her for her silence; that made her thankful.

When the meal was finished and the clean dishes were put away, Nayyar prepared the evening tea.  Elham wanted to go to bed early, and Sami was eager to return to his computer in his bedroom. Meanwhile, Farzin stayed in the kitchen, lingering at the table.  He chose an orange from the fruit bowl and thoughtfully peeled it.

What should she say to him? How should she start? She did not want to accuse him of what she knew, nor did she want to keep it a secret that she knew his secret.  Nayyar sighed as she set their cups of tea near the sugar bowl and sat down.  She handed him a tiny spoon, and Farzin added sugar to his tea, as was his habit.  While he stirred, she studied his hands. His long fingers brought a picture to her mind: her husband holding the little book, turning its pages, making notes as he studied and wrote his thoughts.

Again, the stabbing reality that she did not know her husband returned.  But this time, the anger and fear were replaced by an aching hurt at the thought of his secrecy.  She sensed a flicker of curiosity as she considered the possibility that maybe the little book held answers for her, too.

After a few sips of his tea, Farzin took a deep breath and spoke, “My dear, something has happened.  I…” Now what? Farzin thought about the beautiful, crazy details of the journey he had been on. “I have been on a journey.  That is, a spiritual one.”

His wife looked at him steadily, no confusion in her gaze.  She waited.

“Do you remember last March when we left the country for vacation? Someone gave us a small book, an Injil, and I… I kept it.”

Again, there was no surprise in her eyes, though she looked down.

He continued, “I don’t know why I didn’t tell you immediately.  After I read it once, I knew then that I could never part with it.  It seemed so strange to explain what I was feeling because I know you are a spiritual woman, and you show honor to Islam. I, however, couldn’t find answers in Islam, and I didn’t want to hurt you. Sometimes, my questions overwhelmed me.  That is why I kept the little book, why I have read it.”

Nayyar reached over and placed her hand over her husband’s. “I know,” she admitted, “I found the book last night when you were out buying barbari.”

There was no accusation in her voice. Farzin remembered her cold silence at the table the night before.  He recalled her depressed manner and her determination to pray at the Imam Reza Shrine.

Nayyar looked down again at his surprised look. “I was angry and hurt.  Perhaps I still am, but…” she looked up at him directly, “I am also curious as to what you have learned.”

Her response was far more than Farzin had hoped. Encouraged, he continued, “The more my questions overwhelmed me, the more I just had to read that Injil.  It has been changing me.  Jesus has been changing me, though I feel I have only recently fully come to peace.”

Then, he shared what happened the night before.  He told her how he was desperately praying for an answer from God.  He explained his fear of judgment day and how he longed to know what he would do on that day.  Farzin’s eyes shown in wonder as he explained how God used an old woman to speak to him, to tell him that He had provided a way for forgiveness and that he need not fear Judgment Day.

“I still have questions,” he admitted, “But I am now at peace because I can trust Jesus.”

Nayyar saw that peace in his eyes.  Surely, he had found an answer. She thought of her own journey and questions. Would she ever find relief from depression? Would she ever have the peace her husband now had? Did God really love her?

“I have questions of my own,” Nayyar confessed quietly as tears stung her eyes. “It’s been dark for so long… hopelessness with no relief… and God seems… distant. But the worst is the weariness.  I’m just so tired of wondering if God loves me.”

Farzin gently pulled the little book out from his suit coat pocket.  He placed the Injil on the table and the title seemed to fill the air between them.

That You May Know

Nayyar reached her hand toward the book and rested her fingers lightly on the cover.  She remembered how the title of the book consumed her mind as she finished her prayers at the Shrine. The tiny flame of hope she sensed then suddenly grew brighter.

Farzin placed both his hands over her hands and covered the Injil. “We will read together, and I will show you what I’ve learned. This is a new beginning for us.”

“Yes,” Nayyar nodded and wiped away her tears, “I would like that very much, my husband.”

Farzin could no longer speak; thankfulness filled his entire being.  Thank you, Jesus, for answering my prayers! Thank you for bringing us together! May my wife accept You as Savior and know that You love her!

 


How Can We Pray?

Farzin and Nayyar have joined together in their faith journey.  Our prayer is that whole households will come to faith.

  • Please pray for families who are seeking God.  May they seek truth and experience the transformational work of the Spirit together as a family.
  • Pray for Christians in Iran who are isolated.  Sometimes, new believers do not know any other Christians and they have no way of finding other believers in their area outside of a miracle. It is tempting to give up your faith when you feel ostracized from your family. Pray that the Holy Spirit would not only strengthen and encourage these believers, but would also work in their family members’ hearts.  May these isolated believers see their relatives come to Jesus.

Chapter 6


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