Just a Visit, Someday
I mentioned a Cuban friend David in an earlier post. He told me a story about his Father, a pastor in the home country.
The safety of house churches appears to vacillate in Cuba from year to year. Sometimes there is rest and the worship goes on undisturbed. Other times, unannounced investigations and house raids, often of deplorable violence and destruction.
In one such raid the storm troopers used clubs and pipes. David's Father was severely beaten about the head and back. Complaints were forwarded to government officials and charges of "excessive force" were laid against a few of the officers.
At the summation of the hearing the Pastor was called upon to give a victim impact statement. Did he seek revenge, punishment, dismissal? No. He simply stated that he hoped someday the officer would visit his house to share a coffee or two in peace. This pre-disposition toward forgiveness worked mightily upon the policeman and in subsequent years he became a believer and a pastor.
Such is the power of forgiveness in a world lusting for pay-back.
Paul the Apostle knew of this power:
17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.