08 May 2013

Thou Shalt Love Thy Terrorist

I read a news story yesterday about a man from Mullinville, KS named M.T. Liggett. Mullinville is a small town of 178 people - not much to speak of comes from a town like that.

Yet his offer of love toward the family of Tamerlan Tsarnaev has put the town on the map - and not to mention his name all over the net.

Tsarnaev is the deceased suspect of the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon. The offer to his family has to do with the fact that no cemeteries want to accept his body. And the statement there is a powerful one. They are not accepting what Tsarnaev has done, nor do the people running the cemeteries want his name associated with their own.

Point taken.

However, as of this week, the family of this man is in turmoil because according to their beliefs he has to be buried - cremation is not an option. So his body is rotting on a table while his family suffers.

And, again, maybe that's the point those refusing his body want to make: let him rot for what he did.

Liggett thought otherwise. In the article he made this statement, "They can have my [burial] plot." He then goes on to say that it's not our job to judge a dead man, nor is it okay for those of us who profess Christ to - and I'm paraphrasing - refrain from showing love.

I can't think of a better example of showing love to our enemies than this. Here's a terrorist who has killed, maimed, and scared our countrymen, our country! He plotted and he carried out harm. And what he did will echo through America's history for as long as we have breath. Yet this elderly man is showing love.

People will be angry with him.

People will say he might as well be a terrorist himself.

People will hate him.

Yet if I call myself a Christian, and I do, then my reaction to hate must be love.

When Jesus allowed himself to be nailed to the cross, hate billowed around him as though he was burned at the stake. His reaction? Forgive them. He told his followers to love their enemies, pray for those who persecute them.

He says that to me still.

Tsarnaev is my enemy if I am a U.S. citizen, and M.T. Liggett is my example of Christ's love if I intend to truly follow what my Lord commands me to follow.

May the Lord forgive me when my reaction to hate is hate.

And so the question remains: how do we treat the younger brother? Do we forgive? It is our choice.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a really hard call. Of course, it's just a body.

Man O' Clay said...

It is a hard call. But each time we decide to love someone who is unlovable, it's a hard call.

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