As you may have heard, Pastor Saeed Abedini was released from captivity in Iran over the weekend, and is currently in Germany undergoing medical treatment for his severe wounds; later he will return to the United States to be reunited with his wife and kids. After almost 3.5 years in notoriously violent prisons, he is coming home.
I’ve never met him, but he sounds like a gracious fellow—and tough, refusing to let go. He’s inspired millions of people both in America and across the globe to keep hoping, keep believing, keep standing strong in the face of oppression. No one should be tortured for their desire to uplift and encourage others.
He is an inspiration to me, personally, because of his hope. He stood strong even when surrounded by a darkened environment. The hope that I have is that one day both good men and bad will seize each other not for advantage but in joy. That time is coming. Perhaps it is here already. In the little decisions we make every day—to hold a child’s hand, to brace an elderly veteran, to tell someone silently I love you by listening openly to their heart—is evidence of Jesus’s words: “The kingdom is within you.” From my view, Pastor Saeed’s selfless hope inspires me to keep up my hope for that spring day.