Better Than Expected
August 21

To make a long story short, I recently read a book about WWII from the perspective of a Japanese family that was on different sides of the conflict. One son was a translator for the Army after spending some time in a Japanese internment camp, and the other two sons were serving in the Japanese Imperial Army. The part that I found most fascinating was how surprised the Japanese soldiers were when they were captured by the US. When they were captured, they were actually treated better than when they were free and serving in their Imperial Army. They were given food and medical care. They weren't tortured or ridiculed (thank you Geneva Convention) but cared for, nursed back to full health and given the opportunity to return to their homes and families. They were surprised. Even in war, a brutal war, kindness and compassion was found, and it was surprising.  

Are we still surprising people and are we still being surprised? In a time of bitter division, is kindness and compassion still being practiced? Does our unity as human beings outweigh the divisions that are celebrated on twenty-four-hour news? Have we been surprised when others have shown us kindness and compassion, especially in the times when we were difficult to be kind to? Can we surprise people again? Can compassion once again become our currency? Can kindness be what we are known for?  

There is this old hymn that has the line, "They will know that we are Christians by our love."  I wonder if they still say that about us. Regardless I believe we can be known for it again, and I wish it wouldn't, but it will surprise people because we haven't been known for love for far too long. This must change. We have a great gift to share, a gift that the world needs. We need to start looking into each other's eyes and see our shared humanity not our enemy. Let's surprise them again.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris 

Last Published: August 21, 2019 10:56 AM