Sixty-six years ago today, the Japanese attacked
During that fateful run, DeShazer's plane ran out of fuel, and the crew bailed out over enemy territory. DeShazer was captured and spent the next 40 months as a POW--including 34 months in solitary confinement. Three of his buddies were executed, and another died of slow starvation.
With plenty of time to think, Jake wondered: What makes people hate each other? And he also wondered: Doesn't the Bible say something about loving our enemies?
He asked his jailers for a Bible and eventually got one. He read it with fascination, re-reading some parts six or more times. Then, 10 days into his study, he asked Christ to forgive his sins. He remembers, "suddenly . . . when I looked at the enemy officers and guards . . . , I realized that . . . if Christ is not in a heart, it is natural to be cruel. . . . y bitter hatred . . . changed to loving pity." Remembering Christ's words from the cross-- "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do"--he asked God to forgive those who tortured him, as well.
Fourteen months later, in August 1945, paratroopers liberated DeShazer from his prison cell. After the war, a chaplain on General MacArthur's staff wanted something to help heal the animosity between the
But here's where the story gets interesting. Japanese Navy pilot Mitsuo Fuchida was Chief Commander of the historic December 7 raid on
Eventually Fuchida logged more than 10,000 combat hours. But his closest brush with death was on the ground in
When the war ended, Captain Fuchida returned to his family farm near
How marvelous are God's ways? An American airman is taken prisoner, is converted, and his testimony leads his captors' ace pilot to Christ. Over a 30-year span, Captain Fuchida and Sergeant DeShazer traveled together throughout
Learning to love our enemies is so important, something every Christian must strive for. But when we are fighting deadly enemies, as our nation is today at war, doing so is a miracle--a miracle of restoration and healing that can come only through faith in Christ.
Chuck Colson is a syndicated columnist, international speaker, radio commentator, and the founder of Prison Fellowship and Breakpoint. He has visited prisons throughout the
You may send correspondence to Mr. Colson at: c/o Prison Fellowship,