(This started as a series of tweets, but I couldn’t fully squeeze everything I feel into the confines of Twitter.)
As I sat on my comfortable couch, next to my beautiful sleeping wife, I pulled out my phone. I was checking the news one last time before bed. I saw the story up on Drudge, a catholic priest was beheaded by Syrian rebels. A sad story no doubt, one we are all becoming much too accustomed to seeing. I was bored and curious; we will soon be arming these “rebels” and I wanted to see more.
The story is simple enough, a priest is establishing a monastery in Syria, fully knowledgeable about the dangers. His location is overrun by Syrian rebels. They take him captive and behead him to a chorus of “allahu akbar.”
This has been the fate of far too many, but this was different. There was video. Clear video. It shouldn’t be different, but when you see it with your own eyes, you understand what “beheading” means. A crowd of people, children included. Excitement. “Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!” They throw this innocent man to the ground, and begin to saw and hack off his head with a simple combat knife. It takes more than a minute to cut the flesh and sever his spinal column. They raise his detached head, and the crowd screams with joy.
My first feeling is this desire to jump through the screen and eviscerate these evil barbarians with whatever weapon I could possibly lay my hands on. I feel the hate rise inside me. I wanted blood vengeance exacted on these animals.
Pow. It hit me. God loves these people committing vile and horrific acts, just as much as he loves me. What’s more than that, He expects me to love them as well. Jesus died for the guy slowly cutting the head off of an innocent man, just as he died for me. We are both in need of His love and forgiveness.
One 5 minute clip through my iPhone. Once living, now brutally dead. He loved God and his fellow man enough to put it all on the line.
Watching an innocent man be martyred for Christ, it changes you.