“In years to come they may discover what the air we breathe and the life we lead is all about. But it won’t be soon enough for me. In another world we could stand on top of the mountain with our flag unfurled. In a time to come we will be dancing to the beat played on a different drum.” – Paul McCartney – “Tug Of War”, title track to his 1982 album. (This was his first project after the assassination of John Lennon.)
“Hey! which one of you said, ‘*@#%^&!’ ” came a voice from the gang of high school rivals as they got out of two different cars. What a night. I believe it was the fall of 1977, my senior year in high school. A well attended party had just wrapped up at Lisa’s house with her parents on the front porch waving all of us off as we headed toward our cars. The street was dark at curbside of this upper middle class quiet neighborhood in a northern suburb of Dallas, Texas. It was not my first rodeo with multiple attackers. I saw the writing on the wall. The guys and gals I was with, maybe 10 of us, were all fellow choir members from school and zero street experience with thugs. Knowing who I was with, I was aware nobody in my group had yelled obscenities at these passing cars. It was clear, these were what I called “Quackers,” flapping off their mouths to start a fight. I was the only one in the group who could stand up to these jerks. The number of bullies changed depending upon who you asked the following day, but I believe it to be about 7 or 8 guys, half of which had long-neck bottles in their hands. Fortunately, I was in my 4th or 5th year of Tae-Kwon-Do and kickboxing, training with world contenders of that time. Then a friend of mine, who should’ve kept his mouth shut (Greg, if you’re reading this, you know who you are, lol), challenged the hearing ability of these bloodthirsty hoods. With that, I winced for the first punch I was about to witness. Instead, I was suddenly overcome with a sense of protectionism. Without going into lots of details on antics, I had to take on the biggest brute among them. I say, “take on,” but I wasn’t trying to injure the guy. I simply did a freight train of martial arts show-&-tell on his body while his buddies in crime watched. As what usually happens in tribal poundings of chests, they got spooked and wanted to leave. About that time, the men in blue pulled up in a couple of cruisers. (I’m sure Lisa’s parents closed the door and dialed 911.) The cops saw what was up, quickly identifying the trouble makers, the cops threatened them all with jail time and off they went like a sack in a tornado. Nobody was arrested because the actual rumble, if you want to call it that, only lasted about :25 seconds before the cops arrived. After they interviewed me, and our group, it was clear what took place. I’m so grateful none of my friends were hurt.
Bullies are often like that, ya know. They have a big hole in their face and loud noises come out of it, combined with a vicious scowl. If you have been the victim of abuse, you know what I’m talking about. Yet, most of the time, they are so lacking in self-esteem and confidence they cower into a scared paper tiger when they get just a whiff of being over-matched. The theory is, bullies feel as if they need to be bigger, louder and feared to hide their inner wounds. I’ve known many. Psychologists can tell us more of such a mindset, but that’s what I have observed several times over in my personal life.
I sincerely believe North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un is such a person. I may be wrong, but he obviously has mental issues and certainly has a deficit in maturity. Besides what he allows the world to see on state-controlled television, he has slaughtered thousands of innocents, imprisoned the old and the weak, guilty of nothing. His people live in totally frantic fear of him and must stage happiness and joyful enthusiasm when he is present and on camera. They are raised to believe that he is GOD. Yes, that’s right, an ALL-POWERFUL BEING, just like his dad and granddad! (By the way, they are STILL dead.) Besides the obvious twisted view he sets up for himself, the people have no rights, no freedom. You can be killed over a long-distance phone call, a hint of displeasure, an internet connection, books on philosophy, religion or love. Stories of severe torture and numerous overpopulated prison work camps from hell come from the courageous underground and those who escaped seeking asylum. I have known many Korean men and women in my life, precious souls. All of them change their facial expression when the name of the dictatorship family is mentioned. Many have family on the north side of the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Meanwhile, the vast majority of North Koreans starve as the little creep sits on his throne, eats cookies and plays video games all day between staged photo ops. Yet, he has personal deficiencies making and molding him into who he is. Only God, the True and Living One, knows.
Sure, I could go on about his missiles, bombs, nuclear technology he has been allowed to build, followed by super ridiculous and risky threats, but I won’t. Instead, I will spotlight MY responsibility of protectionism concerning this bully.
The One I follow, Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, who with the breath of His nostrils could instantly scar the Korean peninsula to its very bedrock, orders me to….(wait for it)…pray for him. Hold the missile launchers, rocket man! Really…P-R-A-Y for him? Are we sure it’s not, we are to make P-R-E-Y out of him? That’s what I want to do. I want to see a shock & awe shellacking of the little boy’s palace. I want to see him evaporated! I want to see him get what he deserves, as well as ISIS, Iranian leadership, Al-Qaeda, all human trafficers, drug cartel kingpins, Antifa, KKK, Neo-Nazis, Charlie Manson…..(I’m tired already.) Do you see where I’m going with this? There’s plenty of bad blood that can be shed out there. How much time do we have? How many bombs are available? How much of the planet do we destroy? How much energy do we have to erase all the bad guys with bad haircuts?
So, Jesus. How would you have me pray for this tiny dweeb dressed in black? Sure, I’m brave enough to ask. Scripture tells me I should come to God with all things including my angst. He invites me to come reason with Him. I think I know the answer when it comes to praying for my enemy.
How would you pray for a loved one? You might request that your loved one might become a better person, a person of good character. Right? I don’t think I should start with requesting he eat more cookies and die of kidney failure. Rather, I think I can be more in-line with the following. Pray for a conversion, even though it would be a miracle. Pray that the evil shown, and on its perch ready to launch, would be curbed, sidelined. Pray for perfect divine judgment. After all, human judgment can be faulty and most often is. Pray for protection of the public under his laced-up booties. Pray for all his efforts to fail or fall short. Pray the short little thug gets distracted and overlooks the underground church and political resistance in North Korea.
Sure, Alan, it’s totally easy to pray for my enemies, my torturer in life, my abusers past, present and future…yeah, right. Hey, I’m the worst about this. I pray an asteroid falls from the sky and takes out the regime, but that’s God’s choice. Then, I read what I just typed and recall Jesus’ prayer on the cross. “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.”-Luke 23:34 (Alan’s paraphrase) Torturous evil inflicted can be an action of ignorance…or not. But, then again, I am not the Perfect Judge Who sees the hearts of men and women.
So as the highly disturbed man in North Korea rattles his saber shouting, “Hey! Which one of you said, *@#%^&!?,” we pray for his change, his inabilities to rise, his passion for blood and fire to wain, for this flag unfurled to change and most of all, for the innocents over which he lords.
I’ve read the end of the book. McCartney is right. “…In a time to come we will be dancing to the beat played on a different drum.”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” – Jesus, Matthew 5:43-47 (NIV)