Beneath the stereotype

He fit the stereotype of a terrorist perfectly: Middle Eastern, dark complexion, heavy Arab accent. He looked just like the mug shots of terrorists seen flashed around the world on CNN—just like the "Arab bad guys" in countless Hollywood movies. He was my dad.

At home, the stereotype played out, too. He was angry and often abusive. Because he was an immigrant from Syria and had never been formally educated, he suffered emotionally from the embarrassment that he couldn't read. Nevertheless, he had a very successful career as a masseur for many movie stars and studio executives. But even though he did well professionally for over 60 years, he lived in constant fear that his luck would change.

Growing up with him was traumatic. But when I was a young adult, I began to study Christian Science, which taught that I had to see beyond outward appearances. I had to see everyone—including my dad—as the likeness of God (see Gen. 1:26). Because I had such a desire to follow the Bible's teaching, I wholeheartedly wanted to lose my fear and change my view of him.

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Testimony of Healing
A healing of anorexia
June 30, 2003

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