totally random, but here i am sitting in a half dark room watching tv and browsing the internet when a blog post somehow reminded me of something i read in a book a few years ago (actually i’ve read this book quite a few times before but then i always gave this book to friends – yes, it’s a very good book – so the last time i read it was a few years back).
the book was called “what’s so amazing about grace” by phillip yancey, and in it he tells stories he read or heard that was so incredible he just had to put it in the book. tonight i’m reminded of one in particular.
during the world war 2 this american soldier was called to a hospital. the nurse explained.. this german soldier was dying and he wants to confess his sin, talk to someone jewish. she couldn’t find anyone jewish at that time, so she called him, an american, a christian. he didn’t know this german soldier, but he went in anyway. but what the german soldier told him was so startling. he told him about all the unforgiveable things he did in the name of war. at one time he helped rounded up the people of a village, locked them up in a barn, and they burned the barn down, shooting everyone who tried to escape. the german was crying when he recalled this incident.
the american soldier felt so sick in the stomach that he didn’t realize the german had finished and was asking him something. “sorry?” he said. the german had asked him if he could (in the name of the jewish) forgive him for the things he did. he knew he was dying, and he needed forgiveness so he could die in peace.
the american – the christian – didn’t know what to do. how could he forgive him knowing all the terrible things this man did. so he left without saying anything, leaving the german to die alone. afterward he felt unease.. as a christian he should’ve forgive.. that’s what God would’ve wanted him to do. but yet how could he forgive such a condemned act?
this was just one of the many stories i read in the book. have you read about babel’s feast? or les miserables? they all speak about grace. how wonderful, how grandeur, how humbling, and yet how hard it is.