By Beth Hartt
Have you ever read the Book of Revelation? A little weird, right? I’ve read it 4 times now and it doesn’t get any less weird. Or easier to understand. But for the first time, a verse near the end stopped me in my tracks when I was reading it the other day.
“Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
Immediately my mind called up the image of 21 men on their knees on a beach in Libya. Twenty-one sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, who were brutally beheaded for being followers of Jesus Christ. The anger welled up inside me—again. Because variations of this same story keep happening over and over, and I am mad. No, furious. And frustrated. I want to see these radicals punished and hurt like they’ve done to countless others. I want somebody, anybody, to do something, to stop this madness.
But I know this is not the response Christ wants me to have. I know that if I let the anger take over, I’m no better than the jihadis. Deep down in my Jesus-loving heart, I know I’m supposed to be praying for them. No, not just for the men on their knees in the sand. That goes without saying.
I’m supposed to be praying for the men standing behind them. Read More