THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
We don’t have an enemy . . . until we meet one! Yeah, a lot of times we don’t have an enemy because everybody is treating us well. The moment they don’t, we react and when we can’t accept them, we’ll make them our enemy. So you see, we don’t have an enemy not because we are nice but rather others are nice to us.
Several years after Corrie ten Boom was miraculously released from prison, she returned to Germany to share her testimony in a church in Munich. After the service, she spotted a man whom she recognized as the S.S. soldier, who used to stand guard at the shower door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. This man approached her, beaming and bowing, said to her, “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein. To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” He, then, extended his hand to her wanting to shake hers but Corrie kept her hand at her side.
The angry and vengeful thoughts brewed in her soul but not for long; gently the Lord made her see sin in her reaction. “Jesus had died for this man.” She, then, quickly and quietly prayed, “Lord Jesus, forgive me and help me forgive him.” She tried to raise her hand to shake his hand, but she could not. So, she prayed again, “Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness.” This time she could raise her hand and shake his hand. As she did that, she felt like a current just pass from her to him and out of her heart sprang a love for this man, whom she couldn’t forgive seconds ago.
Corrie ten Boom discovered, “it is not on our forgiveness anymore than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.” Yes, because He lives, we can forgive.