Can Two Jailed Enemies Find Peace?
We hear a fair bit about hope for peace on earth as we approach the Christmas season. Thus far neither the season nor the hopes have produced it. We wish they had. But there is an astoundingly true story of two mortal enemies who found peace and became very dear friends.
In her book “What Happens When God Answers”, Evelyn Christenson tells a remarkable story (p.4) related to her leading a prayer seminar in war-torn Belfast in June of 1981. The conflict between Protestant and Catholic antagonists was severe. Liam and Jimmy were both in prison for their acts of terrorism but they were on opposite sides of the conflict. In an interview with her, Liam spoke of his “dirty protests” and rebellious actions in prison, including a 56 day hunger strike that brought him to the brink of death. His praying mother succeeded in getting the prison officials to use intravenous feeding to spare his life. Ten other prisoners in the hunger strike had already died. After recovering Liam was put into solitary confinement for a while with a Bible as the only reading material. It changed his view on life. He decided to trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Jimmy watched the transformation with amazement. He now wanted what Liam had. He ended up making the same decision. They began studying the Bible and praying together. As Liam put it, “I used to be willing to shoot him dead but now I would die for him.” Few people have that dramatic a story but the truth of the following verse is available to all. Then there is a solution to conflict.
2 Cor.5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
That is an astounding and effective way to find peace!