Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.
History repeats itself. Sadly in this day and age we see governments of Nations at odds with each other. The United States and China could very well go to war over differences similar to those that brought us to war with Japan in WWII. North Korea constantly rattles the saber. South Korea and Japan are at odds over the flying of the Rising Sun flag. Shia and Sunni Muslims regularly kill one another and join hands to kill Jews and Kurds. Russia is flexing it’s muscles in Eastern Europe and the Middle East on a collision course with NATO and the U.S..
But let us go back to December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Hawaii. Two nations cannot reconcile their differences and neutral United States gets swept into a world wide conflict on the greatest scale in human history. Shortly after another air raid happens, this time the United States bombs Japan in the Doolittle raid. It is of two air men, Mitsuo Fuchida and Jacob DeShazer, and their reconciliation that we will speak.
Throughout the war Fuchida, the leader of the raid on Pearl Harbor, comes within a hair’s breadth of death. This includes leaving Hiroshima just before the dropping of the atomic bomb and surviving radiation poisoning that kills all the rest of the damage assessment crew that went to that city in the aftermath of it’s destruction.
Likewise DeShazer survives parachuting into enemy territory and brutal treatment at the hands of his captors. It was at this time that DeShazer’s reconciliation begins. His hatred for the Japanese grows and grows until he wonders if there is any cure for the hatred in this world. He miraculously gets a Bible and finds the answer. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. First forgiveness for his own sins then forgiving them that despitefully used him. The change in him is so great that one of his guards received Christ as his Saviour after the war. Shortly after the war DeShazer returns to Japan as a missionary.
Fuchida is disillusioned with defeat and seeks the meaning of life. He meets a shipmate he thought was dead returning from a POW camp in the United States. He tells him a strange story of a teenage girl who volunteered to help at the POW camp and treats the Japanese as if they were her own brothers. When the prisoners questioned her about her kindness she replies that it was because the Japanese had killed her parents. Her name was Peggy Covell.
Miss Covell’s parents were missionaries in Japan and later went to the Philippines, sending their children to the United States for safety. Eventually they were found by the Japanese who believed them to be spies because they had a small radio. They were granted 30 minutes to pray before they were beheaded. On their knees praying they were executed. Of course this at first angered young Peggy but remembering the Scriptures and her parents example forgave them and did good to those who had despitefully used her.
Fuchida then read DeShazer’s story of forgiveness and determined to find out how anyone could forgive on this fashion by reading the Book that had changed him-the Bible. It is important to know that the Bible is not an American nor a European book but God’s word for all mankind. As Fuchida came to the words of Christ in Luke 23:34 Father forgive them for they know not what they do, he understood how DeShazer and Miss Covell could forgive. Fuchida received the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. He met with DeShazer not as an enemy and occupier but as a friend and dedicated his life to being a preacher of the Gospel.
Will nation’s ever reconcile? Not until The Lord Jesus Christ sets up His kingdom here on the Earth. But you can reconcile with your enemies. You can forgive and do good. An Amish school was attacked by a man who killed several children then himself. The Amish community brought item to help the widow and her family in their time of need and attended the murderer’s funeral. They stood in front of the news cameras so the grieving family could have privacy. Remember the aversion the Amish have to photographs. Has Christ forgiven you? Is He your Saviour? Are you washed in His blood? If you are will you Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you? Ephesians 4:32