My American friend and I went for a little sight seeing trip around Deara – the old city centre where Masmak Fort still stands. It must be going through a renovation as all the display cases were empty.
As we left the building, two old men approached us and as we crossed paths one said, ‘You are welcome in my country’. ‘Shukran, shukran’, we replied feeling encouraged by the welcome. This was in stark contrast to the young rock pelting man who shouted, ‘Get out of Arabia!’ to the expat women at the mall. (See entry re Rock Monster).
Just as I was feeling happy about being here in Riyadh, my American friend casually told me we were now walking across Chop Chop Square – the site of public executions by a sword wielding executioner.
I slowed down my pace, as if walking on hallowed ground, a place where thousands of souls departed this life for the next. There is a long list of crimes that will get you beheaded here, big sins like drug trafficking , adultery, rape, blasphemy.
My Creator says, we all have sinned and the liar and the drunkard are just as bad as the adulterer and the thief.
I’m glad I have accepted the escape clause of John3:16 – no matter what happens to me here.