Love and forgiveness among unbelievable tragedy
A few days ago I posted a blog regarding the persecuted church and showed a picture of a young boy whose face was horribly mutilated during an attack on his village. (http://barblaneblog.c`om/2015/11/27/i-will-not-let-them-suffer-alone/)
Thirteen–year–old Danjuma Shakaru was critically injured during an attack on his village in northern Nigeria on January 28, 2015. Muslim militants struck Danjuma on the head, arm and body with their machetes. His right eye was carved out, his genitals were cut off. Seeing his mangled, lifeless body covered in blood, the villagers who found him dug a grave for him. Before he could be buried, he regained consciousness and began crying and shouting. Taken to the hospital at the nearest city, workers there could not believe he would survive.
But survive he did!
Today, though his face is marked by horrendous scars where his right eye was carved out, his face shows a bright smile of joy for God had other plans for Danjuma.
In spite of what he has suffered, Danjuma is certain that God is still in control. He has no anger toward his attackers. “There is no problem,” he said. “I have allowed God to handle everything.”
I forgive them
Asked about his attackers, he said “I forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing,” he said, echoing the words of Christ. “If they had love, they wouldn’t behave that way.”
A defiant joy
While the attackers stole so much from Danjuma, they couldn’t take his joy. It is still evident on his face and in his voice. “The joy comes from the Lord,” he said.
Danjuma said his relationship with God has only grown stronger since the attack. He continues to pray regularly and seek God’s guidance. “God continues to guide and protect,” he said.
And today –
He recently had an operation that frees him from having to carry a bag for his urine. Voice of the Martyrs is sending him to a school for the blind where he can learn Braille. The hospital staff refers to him as “Miracle.”
Could/would I do the same?
As I read about this young man I have to ask myself, could I – would I forgive? I think of the times I get all upset because someone said something unkind about me – or they did not respond to my phone call or text. The words of Jesus ring in my ears:
You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say unto Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that.
Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
What if we really did that?
What kind of a world would we have – how full would our churches be if we really completely did that?