Loving a Terrorist. Acts 9.1-22
2/21/2017 9:55:22 PM
How could it ever happen?
Loving a Terrorist.
Regularly, I get Facebook ‘Friend’ requests from folks with strange names—strange to me, that is—and I am not sure of their intent. I weigh each one carefully, particularly noting if we have ‘friends’ in common who might have told the person about the Morning Briefings group on the social media site.
Never thought I could be drawn to a terrorist, but it happened.
Turns out, for his cause, the man would do anything . . . even die.
I mean, he was such a religious zealot, nothing would stop him.
Though he was not a very big man, no one or no thing scared him,
even though threats against his life were a regular occurrence.
Fact is, fanaticism had him in its talons, and it propelled his every action.
As for me, I put up with his extremism because I loved him.
[By the way, this is the first time I have admitted this to anyone.]
Maybe I loved him because he was a ‘books’ guy like me-
Crazy as it sounds, learning really got him going
and he had a way with words that I admired.
Maybe I was drawn to his black and white way of looking at things;
he had no respect for so-called gray areas.
Maybe I loved him because he was edgy and dangerous…
Well, truth be told, I didn’t even mind his arrogance
because he was so intelligent and well read. Guess I thought
if anyone had a right to be proud, it was him.
Here’s the rough part: there were times when my man seethed with hatred and rage. Unbelievably, he did not just sanction torture and killing, but stood by and watched folks suffer. Who could do such a thing? And strangely, he was never filled with guilt or remorse, violence did not faze him in the least. The guy never questioned his ‘righteous’ position.
All right, I do not blame you for what you are thinking; what kind of a woman—a Christian woman—would love a man like that? I couldn’t help myself. See, he had me with one question: “Who are you, lord?”1
The terrorist to whom I am referring is Saul, or as we mostly know him, Paul. Here’s the encounter as Luke records it that changed the world: “Saul, still breathing out murderous threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything…”2
The full story: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+9.1-22&version=NIV&interface=print
Have you ever thought of Paul (Saul his Hebrew name) as a terrorist? That is certainly how he would be branded today, right?
But God had a plan for that ‘righteous’ Jewish terrorist.
Sometimes, things seem to be heading down a certain road, in a trajectory that seems great … but God has another idea.
Huh, so many of life’s greatest events begin with that notion, “But God …” Sometimes God seems to intervene, intercept or interrupt and we see the good in it immediately. Saul was heading to kill Jesus followers, but God stepped into his path, and irrevocably changed his direction, right?
Seems that is how it is when God steps into our paths.
You? How has God stepped into your path to get your attention or change your direction or to refocus you?
1 – Acts 9.5
2 – Acts 9.1-9