I have not yet watched the video of the beheadings of 21 Egyptian brothers. I am very conflicted as to whether I will on not. Part of me wants to and part of me is loathe to watch it and I have no particular “spiritual” reason for either. But I have read accounts of a father in Egypt having to stop watching it after seeing his son crying out the name of Jesus Christ just before his beheading. Other reports are of many of them proclaiming Jesus as their only savior as the knives come out.
I have seen a picture of the sea turned BLOOD red and I can just imagine the chorus of their blood crying out from the sand and the sea.
Part of me cries uncontrollably, part of me wishes I could have been a sniper on a sand dune overlooking the event to take out the executioners before they could carry out their empty deed. I say empty because I cannot imagine someone with any self esteem, worth or noble purpose in life being able to do this kind of thing.
Then there is the part of me which cries almost more intently because of my complaints to my wife, my kids (and worse yet) the Lord about my problems. Until the last couple of days my problems loomed large and many would agree as to the severity of what I am facing. But in light of the real life, captured on video and broadcast to the whole world, plight of these precious Coptic brothers in the Lord facing modern day martyrdom my issues are just that – temporal issues with no eternal implications.
I have seen postings of praying for the executioners. I know I should be there, but not just yet Lord. Please give me a few more hours of righteous indignation and desire for exacting retribution of similar fashion. But even as I write that I hear scripture proclaiming the Father is so very patient in His return – not willing for any to perish, but that all would come to repentance. But I don’t want them to repent! I want them to pay and I want to be the one that makes them pay.
But then I hear the rebuking words of Jesus to James and John – “you don’t know what kind of spirit you have taken on” and all of a sudden I have become no better than those lost souls on the beach in Libya – having no knowledge of the risen Savior. I know from how low I have been pull up and compassion begins to roll in like a flood – God, you take a pass on my problems if you can save but one.
PS – There but by the grace of God went Paul …. re-phrase – There went Paul before the grace of God!