Monday, September 28, 2009

Overcoming Hatred and Hostile Rhetoric

One of the great stories I’ve read recently is that of Lisa Gibson. Lisa lost her brother in the Lockerbie Bombing incident and recently met Muammar Gaddafi, as reported by ANS (Assist News Service).

"After waiting for several hours,” Lisa reports, “we got word that he had been delayed. So, I left. At 5:30 pm, I received a call from the Libyan Ambassador who invited me to come to the Libyan Mission to meet the leader at 7:30 pm. . ."So, myself and another young man who lost his father on the Lockerbie plane, were invited to a one-on-one meeting with Muammar Gaddafi.”

As she describes it, “He shook my hand and we exchanged the general pleasantries. I shared with him that I have been to Libya three times and have truly fallen in love with the Libyan people. I also talked about the projects we are engaged in there.

“He was grateful. I also gave him a gift. A 'Cross' brand pen and a card. In the card I shared that I have been praying for him since my first trip to Libya in 2005, wished him the best for himself and the people of his country, and blessed him--Not the expected response to a known dictator and terrorist.”

Lisa continues, “when he opened the gift, his countenance changed. His previously stern demeanor softened for a moment and a genuine boy-like smile came to his face.

"It was truly a historical day by many standards. I have the t-shirt and umbrella with a welcome for his first trip to America to prove it. The western media were not present, only a small delegation of Libyan reporters when I met with Gaddafi. They filmed and asked us questions, but the world may never hear about it. But as I walked out of the Libyan Mission and on the way back to my hotel, I felt God's peace. I had fulfilled that particular mission.”

As she describes it, while the rest of the world was spewing hate and rhetoric against him, one simple woman welcomed him to America and shared the love of Christ with him in the simplest ways she knew how. Let us all pray that it will in someway make a difference."

What we struggle with in Afghanistan and the Middle East dates as far back as the days of the Old Testament Patriarchs. I encourage political diplomacy but military forces remain powerless to resolve it. Religion contributes some understanding, including Islam, but the Prophet Mohammed failed to find a resolution. The Christian Apostle Paul reveals the one option in which I find the most potential (Ephesians Chapter 2 of the Bible).

Verses 13-15 read (Amplified):
(13) But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.
(14) For He is [Himself] our peace--our bond of unity and harmony. He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one (body), and has broken down 9destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us,
(15) By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances--which He annulled; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man - one new quality of humanity out of the two - so making peace.”

There is but one means of resolution: God’s reconciliation and forgiveness that transforms Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) from two into one humanity. Lisa Gibson is a Christian peace-maker working to extend Shalom--Hebrew for peace. Shalom means more than the absence of peace. It refers to the SUM TOTAL OF HUMAN FLOURISHING, socially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It signifies the wholeness, rightness, and ultimate harmony of both victim and offender.

You can read more of Lisa Gibson’s story online at; you can find Shalom in the One Who said “Blessed . . . Are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9, Amplified)!

These are not easy days, but they call us to walk the walk:speak that which is positive and uplifting, and walk authentically, as we carry a faith of forgiveness, reconciliation, and at least a cup of cold water (IN HIS NAME).

From Warner’s World, Wayne

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