Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it
1 Corinthians 12:27
Ever since this weekend I have been struggling with reactions to the capture of the Boston Marathon bomber. I know people are upset and his actions and I know that people are feeling more patriotic right now but I am hearing awful things from people I never expected to hear them from.
I knew when I posted on Facebook that I was glad they captured him alive because he is only 19 years old, he is one of God’s children, and another senseless death would not have solved or changed anything that has happened, I would have friends and family who would disagree with me because their hearts are not in the same place as mine. I understand that, and I pray for them because I know they do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, I wasn’t surprised by the comments made on my Facebook status and I wasn’t offended because again, that person doesn’t really know any better
What I was most surprised by was what happened at church Saturday night, the night after the young man was captured. Gary and I were sitting in church waiting for the services to start; the pastor was speaking to a couple directly behind us. I wasn’t listening to their conversation but when someone is having a conversation, loudly, behind you its hard not to hear them. The pastor mentioned that the young man they captured was in critical but stable condition and that he was expected to survive to which the woman laughingly replied “ Oh, I’m very sorry to hear that.” That statement perked up my ears, and then she said to the pastor “Well, I’m praying that his nurses are at least withholding his pain medication” I could not believe what I was hearing! Now if I were sitting in a restaurant and overheard this conversation I would have treated it as I did the comments made on my Facebook status, they don’t know any better, but this was being said by a woman sitting in church preparing to worship God. This has bothered me ever since.
It made me angry at the time and I whispered to Gary “When it’s time to shake hands I am NOT turning around and shaking her hand” LOL I did turn around and shake her hand because I DO know better, and it is not my place to judge her. But I have thought about this all weekend. Today my devotional was about Casting Crown’s song “If We Are The Body” and it made me think about this woman. The song says “If we are the body, why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His hands healing, why aren’t His words teaching?” If I were not a Christian and maybe a first time visitor to any church, and not sure about Jesus, her conversation would have been my introduction to the church and to what could be assumed to be the Christian mindset – pray for pain upon our enemies. What were her words teaching? Were they teaching a message that Jesus would have approved of? Not according to Matthew 5:43 – 48 where Jesus instructs us to not only love our neighbors but to love our enemies, bless those that curse us, do good for those that hate us, and pray for those that persecute us. I don’t have an answer to why this woman, who considers herself a Christian would pray for such awful things for anyone. I can only assume she considers herself a Christian because she was sitting in a church service, her actions and words were not enough to convince me that she was a Christian, in fact if I had overheard that conversation anywhere else I would have thought for sure that she was not a Christian. I pray quite often that God uses me to show others His love and I pray that he shine through me so that others may see His glory and His grace. I hope that someday this woman is able to see that if we are the body of Christ then our words need to teach not tear down. I will pray for her, Father forgive her, she knows not what she does (but she should).