I was extremely pleased to see that Meriam Ibrahim has been released, and is safe in the hands of the United States embassy in Khartoum, a “well guarded facility”. Hopefully, this means that she and her family will be able to leave Sudan very soon, and that they will finally be out of danger. Right now, she is still unable to leave, as she waits for the charges to be dropped. But, let’s imagine and be hopeful that that will happen soon.
This brings me back to a few points I made earlier.
First, to all of the media people who will be looking to make a quick buck off of Mrs. Ibrahim – give her a break. Let her have time to process what she has been through. I know she is going to be contacted by all sorts of agents looking to turn her story into a book, or a movie, or to get her on American television where she could tell her story – but don’t do it. Leave her alone! She has just experienced an incredibly difficult few months, and she needs to be left alone to process everything she has experienced. Don’t turn her into a poster child for your brand of Christianity. Don’t try to make her into a modern Christian heroine.
Don’t exploit her.
Even as I write it, I know that it’s pretty fruitless to write. Meriam will be approached by all manners of people – Christian and otherwise – wanting to exploit her story, and she will likely go that route, even though it would most likely be the worst possible thing she could do.
It pains me, because people would still eat up her story if she just waited a year to tell it. And this is what she should do – take a year, find a place where she and her family can find recovery and nourishment for their souls, and plot out her next steps prayerfully. A place where people will take the time to come to know her, to listen to her unload about the brutal things she experienced at the hands of her countrymen, what she experienced as she was tempted to just give them what they wanted. Was it genuine devotion to Christ that pulled her through? Was it a stubborn determination to not give them what they wanted? She will desperately need to work through these issues before she is thrust into the limelight of The 700 Club or The Voice. Before her biography hits the bookstores. Before her biopic airs at a movie-of-the-week on NBC.
Give her time, American media. She deserves it. Especially considering that you just about ignored the fact that she was going through the experience as she was undergoing it. Oh, wait, did I say that? But isn’t it true? Almost daily, I searched for someone in the United States media talking about Meriam’s experience, and almost daily I was rewarded with zero. The British press was all over the story, but it seemed like so much less than an afterthought with the big United States media outlets. It was pathetic, and now you will probably be all over her now that she’s free, wanting to get your pathetic spin on her story.
It’s just really irritating.
Second, let’s all agree to be in prayer for Meriam’s relationship with her husband, Daniel Wasi. This sort of experience can easily have one of two results: the couple is drawn closer together because of the shared difficult experience; or the couple can be pulled apart as one member feels slighted or left behind as everyone wants a piece of the other. Let’s pray for their marriage to hold strong, even in the face of the challenges they will face in the future.
I am celebrating tonight, knowing that Meriam is safely out of the hands of her captors. Now, I pray that she and her family will be able to safely navigate the waters of her freedom.