Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Gayle Williams was serving Christ, not proselytising

I have a young friend, approaching Gayle Williams’ age, who does aid work in some of the more dangerous parts of the world. I texted her in the wake of Miss Williams’ murder – I’m not sure why. She replied cheerfully from Pakistan that she had to buy her team ice creams as a penalty for her mobile ringing at work.

Let’s call my friend “Bridgit”. Because, since Miss Williams was shot dead on a street of Kabul, we should perhaps apply the same sort of security principles to people working in Christian charity relief as we do to the military.

That is the only comparison with the military that I’m prepared to concede in speaking of Bridgit, or for that matter Miss Williams. These brave and selfless people are not serving governments or nation states or “the West”. They are serving Christ.

Let’s be clear what that means. Miss Williams’ proud and grief-engulfed parents said that their daughter died “doing what the Lord had called her to do.” Mr and Mrs Williams can say whatever they like at this time, or nothing at all. But let us not allow that phrase to let a breath of justification into the Williams family’s loss.

The work of Miss Williams and her friends is indeed profoundly vocational, though far from all of them will be consciously motivated by religious faith. For the Christians among them, the Lord can indeed be said to call them to perform it. But the Lord did not call Miss Williams to be gunned down.

To permit that view any space at all is to undermine the human – no, the inhuman – wickedness of the murderous, gun-toting assassins on their motorbike in that dusty Afghan road, as they embarked on their merciless mission. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

1 comment:

bchasteen said...

I was greatly encouraged by reading about your friend in Pakistan and about Gayle Williams who died serving the Lord.