A package arrived at the house. Navrooz’s mother carefully inspected it before she passed it on to her daughter. Then brimming over with excitement, Navrooz opened the package and took out the booklets one by one. There were so many of them!
There were booklets such as “Your New Life” and “The Gospel of Luke” and there was a booklet with stories of people talking about finding eternal life and being saved from their sins. But it all looked boring to Navrooz. All these booklets were not advertised in the TV cartoon she had seen. She looked for one particular booklet, the one that she saw advertised at the end of the Super Book cartoon. This booklet was a special one. The name of the booklet was simply – “Jesus”.
She could not believe her eyes as this was the very same book that she saw on TV. It was in her hands now and in her possession. She looked at the booklet and the cover read, “This story began 2000 years ago when God sent His only Son.”
Understanding that this booklet was about God, Navrooz followed her traditions and carefully opened up a clean tablecloth and laid the Jesus booklet on top of it and began to read out loud. In the Muslim culture, reading holy books requires a cleansing ceremony. She learned from childhood to observe cleanliness, both personal and in her surroundings, especially when it involved something to do with holy materials or prayer.
Navrooz took out the booklet and brought it into the kitchen where her mother was making supper. Navrooz made sure that her mother heard what she was reading, as she read it out loud. It was the story of Jesus that Navrooz had heard through the cartoon many, many times, but there was something more to the story in this booklet. Everything looked familiar, as she had seen it all on TV in the cartoon. She read things that were familiar to her such as Jesus and his birth, and Jesus at the age of 12 at the temple when his parents were looking for him. A small picture accompanied every page from the cartoon that Navrooz had seen in the Super Book cartoon series.
Navrooz enjoyed every page she read. Close to the end of the booklet there was a picture with people who wanted to kill Jesus. As she continued, she was shocked with what she read and saw in the pictures. There were pictures of Jesus being loved one day and the next day being beaten, laughed at, and then killed in a very horrible way. Navrooz learned a new word – crucified. Jesus was crucified!
Navrooz began to cry and asked her mother, “Why did they do that to him? Why did nobody help him? Why didn’t he run away?” Navrooz’s mother replied, “I don’t know. You should stop reading this because you are getting emotional and it is making you cry.” But Navrooz kept questioning her; “Why do they call him the Son of God in this book? Why did they kill him if he is God’s Son?” Navrooz’s mother replied, “I do not know. You should ask your Grandmother, perhaps she knows better.” In the meantime Navrooz’s dad came home, and he overheard the conversation. And then he stated, “God doesn’t have a son.” He asked Navrooz about the booklet and then he told her to stop watching the TV cartoon and not to read the booklet anymore. However, Navrooz was a stubborn girl and she kept the booklets under her pillow and kept watching the cartoons. This was all done with her mother’s permission.
As the days passed by, Navrooz continued to watch the Super Book cartoon and she heard a prayer in the cartoon to welcome Jesus into her life. Later, Navrooz was reading through one of these booklets that she had once thought was boring and one of the booklets also had a prayer to welcome Jesus into her life. Every night before she went to sleep, Navrooz repeated this prayer exactly like the characters from the cartoon did. But Navrooz did not fully understand the meaning of it. She was simply repeating the prayer because it was in her native language. It was comforting to know and understand the meaning of the words of the prayer since she did not understand the Arabic words of the prayers that she was taught as a child. In Islam, there are many prayers for most events in life. These prayers are all in Arabic and most Muslims do not speak Arabic. So the majority of Muslims memorize these prayers like a mantra and utilize them for their needs. For the first time though, Navrooz was happy to see a prayer that contained words that she could understand.
Navrooz was ten years old when these events took place in her life. She did not realize what was ahead for her. She did not realize that these events – the Super Book cartoons, the booklets and the prayers – were teaching her about Jesus being crucified and that these were all seeds that were planted by THE LORD in her heart. She was not aware that she had started on a journey that would lead her to get to know Jesus better. Navrooz would later learn the reason why Jesus was crucified. This was not the end of Navrooz’s story. It was just the beginning.