Questions for Hiding in the Light by Rifqa Bary

  1. Rifqa’s mother allowed her to use nail polish in secret. ‘I knew once I was old enough to pray I would not be allowed to use it anymore’ says Rifqa.  Are there aspects in Australian Christian families which reflect this thinking?  Were there forbidden things in your family which you were allowed to do as a child? (e.g. drink beer, tell lies, say rude words)?  Is lenience a form of grace or a failure to instil good habits?
  1. When Rifqa suffered an injury how did the family respond? How do we cope with disability in our families?
  2. Early in her story Rifqa reveals she was sexually abused by a distant uncle. Rather than blame the perpetrator the family seemed to blame her.  Later, similar responses seemed to come when violence caused bruising and absenteeism.  Is this behaviour a defence mechanism or a product of a family history of abuse over generations, perhaps even cultural acceptance of violence?
  3. The difference between boys’ and girls’ upbringing was/is very marked in the Muslim family. Are there similarities in the Christian home?
  4. Rifqa was fascinated by the prayers of Christians. Have you ever experienced that fascination?  Do you pray with visitors in your own home?
  5. Though Rifqa’s mother was an excellent cook and spent many hours preparing food, the family never ate together. Do you think eating together is important?  How is it possible in this day of crammed activities to make this happen?
  6. When Rifqa met Angela what struck you as surprising in that relationship?
  7. What stood out to you when Rifqa became a Christian in secret?
  8. What emotions did you experience when Rifqa ran away from home?
  9. When Rifqa was confined to a Juvenile Detention Centre, an awful foster home, then suffered terminal cancer, did God’s plan seem to be for harm rather than to “prosper” her? Jer 29:11

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