Historical Heartbeats welcomes Jim Carroll with his new release, Kuwaiti Seeker.
Yacoub sought truth in Islam. He failed. Islam failed. Will he find God in his search? Read Kuwaiti Seeker and follow Yacoub to God’s love.
Yacoub sought truth in Islam. He failed. Islam failed. BUT GOD… Despite Quranic guidance, Yacoub fell in his sin and the lack of Islamic remedy. God saved Yacoub anyway. Learn how God saves sinners even when they don’t seek Him. From Yacoub’s experiences, see how much God loves you.
In 1969 John Freidecker came to the university as a faculty member in the Department of History. He was then the only American in the Arts Faculty. His special area of expertise was the history of economic development. I missed Americans and befriended John, who was anxious to know Kuwaitis.
John was a fisherman, tanned and with skin toughened from years on the water, and I took him out near Failaka Island to fish for hamour. Our trip was a success with several large fish, and the evening being pleasant with a light breeze, we barbecued them over a charcoal fire. The beach along the Failiaka coast wasn’t hospitable but we found a large flat rock near the sea. The hamour were flaky and white. We ate every scrap and laid back looking upward. We were far from the lights of the city, and the sky over the island was as the sky over the desert at night. John had never seen the stars with such clarity.
I sketched out the history of the island. “We believe the human history of Failaka goes back at least as far as the Dilmun era.” John, as a historian himself, was familiar with Dilmun and the development of that culture near present-day Bahrain. “There were continuous settlements here on the island as a shipping port along the route from the Far East to the areas north of here. Alexander the Great and the Greeks were here for a time. Alexander called the island Icarus. And we think several of the ruins represent Christian churches, perhaps a gift from Egypt. All this predated Islam. Much of the area’s pre-Islamic history is likely preserved here, if we were to dig deep enough. There’s more below the Islamic soil than on top of it.”
The fire had gone out. I continued, “I envy the Dilmunites.”
“How’s that? That’s a strange comment. Why in the world do you envy them? We don’t even know who they were.”
“I don’t know why I feel that way. I think it’s because they were closer to creation.” My comment, I thought, fit with the starry sky. “The knowledge of the world then was fresh. We’ve diluted it all, to its detriment.”
“What do you think they had?”
“Of course I really don’t know, but there’re remnants. There are the epics or myths. Gilgamesh is one that students like, and it’s related to Dilmun. The flood story and all that.”
Finally John asked, “How do you think the myths stack up?”
“There must be some thread of truth under them. Why else would they be composed?”
John stated his view. “I always thought they arose from hopes and dreams.”
“But there are physical remnants that are left. There are the artifacts here on Failaka that aren’t even identified. Some have suggested the Garden of Eden was here. On Bahrain there’s a tree out in the middle of the desert called the Tree of Life. They say it’s only four hundred years old, but someone had the idea very long ago. And then there are the mysterious burial mounds on the island. Up north of here in Iraq in the little town of Al-Qurnah, there’s another Tree of Life. I saw it years ago. The tree’s dead but the inhabitants built a memorial of sorts around it. It must mean something to them. I think the Dilmunites were aware of something we’re not. All three of these places have been identified with the Garden, though now it’s sort of a cruel joke.”
John asked, “What does the Quran say about the tree?”
“The details are thin, but they were instructed not to approach the tree.”
“No more details about the tree?”
John continued, “In Genesis there were many trees but there are two mentioned by name.”
“Two trees instead of one?”
“Yes, one is the Tree of Life.”
“And that’s the one that they say is around today.”
“I guess you could say that.”
“What about the second tree?”
“That’s the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That’s the one they weren’t supposed to eat.”
“And that’s the tree that’s not around today?”
“Nope,” said John.
“That’s what I was afraid of. That’s just my point.”
We got back into the boat and motored back to the city. We were quiet because it was late
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Carroll/e/B0724Z8B7S/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Crosslink Publishing: http://www.crosslinkpublishing.com/?s=Kuwaiti+Seeker&post_type=product
Jim Carroll and his wife, Shirley, live in Augusta, Georgia. They have been married for 50+ years with eight children and fifteen grandchildren. Jim is a physician on the faculty at the Medical College of Georgia and an elder at First Presbyterian Church.
Jim and his family served as missionaries in Kuwait. He was held hostage in the US Embassy in Kuwait during the Iraq invasion (memoir: Faith in Crisis – How God Shows Up When You Need Him Most). He has worked and traveled extensively in the Middle East (see his website: www.allfaithsoil.com).
Jim writes about the Middle East, the weakness of believers, and the strength of God.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/jimcarroll65/?ref=bookmarks