Family health issues have interfered. Back to blogging.
The previous blogs emphasized God’s intention to use each disciple’s life as a showcase of his grace. Two living examples from WWII offer what Christians often are and what they can become.
What Christian Too-Often Are: In her book, Three Came Home, Agnes Keith wrote about an American sailor on the ship coming home with other former POW’s and Internees. He had both hands bundled in bandages, gauze and tape. Because, with his bare hands, he had beaten a brutal Japanese guard to death. Incurring his wounds in the process, he wore them as a prize for revenge taken.
But did it make him a more peaceful civilian at home when disputes occurred? Did his assumption of a role God reserves for himself give him a lasting sense of empowerment? And did his satisfaction with retaliation in kind last longer than Mrs. Keith’s willingness to forgive the enemy despite her mistreatment?
What Christians Can Be: Jacob de Shazer served as one of General Doolittle’s Raiders over Tokyo April, 1942. He parachuted into Japanese-held China when his plane ran out of fuel. Captured the next day, he spent 40 months as a POW—brutalized, tortured, starved.
One day, reacting to an inner need, he asked a Japanese guard for a Bible. He had it only three days before they confiscated it. But those three days changed his life. He had been peeling potatoes Sunday, 7 December, 1941 when Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor. Enraged, he shouted his hatred at the enemy, vowing to get even with them for their perfidious attack.
Yet...when American paratroopers dropped into his prison camp 20 August, 1945, de Shazer had another goal: he would return to Japan as a missionary of Christ’s Gospel. Which he did in 1948 and served 30 years.
Two men experienced heartless treatment from the same source. One got revenge, the other his life mission. One acted from an offended self, the other from the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. The one made no change in his tormentors, the other both life and eternal alterations. End Part V