A Poke in the Eye With A Sharp Stick


Years ago I attended a local church, and was active in a Bible Study class at that church.  One of the other attendees of that class was a friend of my parents named June.  June and her husband were young adults during World War II (as were my parents).

One Sunday morning in class the topic was forgiveness.  During the class June offered her testimony of the importance of forgiveness coupled with repenting for judging other people.

June told us that she and her husband had recently been on vacation in Hawaii.  But when they arrived in Hawaii June developed an eye condition which prevented her from getting out of their hotel room much.  So she told her husband to go ahead and see the sights, and to visit the World War II memorials which he had specifically wanted to visit.

As June remained alone in their hotel room a maid knocked on the door for permission to refresh their room.  Upon being invited in to refresh the room the maid saw that June had an irritating eye condition, and kindly asked June if she could do anything for her.

June realized that the maid was of Asian descent, and asked the maid what was her nationality.  The maid told June that she was Japanese.  Immediately June was smitten in her heart with the realization that she had harbored a hatred for the Japanese people ever since World War II because of the atrocities committed by the Japanese during the war.  But here was a pleasant Japanese maid who was genuinely concerned for June's welfare, and asking if she could do anything to help June.

June realized that she needed to confess her hatred for the Japanese people for all of those years.  So she admitted her hatred to the maid, and asked the maid to forgive her for hating her people.  The maid graciously forgave June, and confessed the sins of the Japanese people to June.  They spontaneously hugged in reconciliation.

Then the maid told June that she was a Christian too, and asked June if she could pray for her healing.  The maid prayed, and June was healed.

Later as June was reading her Bible, she came across a passage which strongly caught her attention:

Numbers 33:55  (Brenton)  But if you will not destroy the dwellers in the land from before you, then it shall come to pass that whomsoever of them you shall leave shall be thorns in your eyes, and darts in your sides, and they shall be enemies to you on the land on which you shall dwell;

She came to the conclusion that the hatred which she had harbored in her heart towards the Japanese people had become a 'thorn in her eye', and was only relieved when she forgave the Japanese people and repented for the sin of harboring hatred in her heart towards them!

MY OBSERVATIONS:  There are only two laws in the universe:  1) Love God with all of one's heart, soul, mind and strength, and 2) love your neighbor as yourself.

The corollary to this truth is this:  Anything which hinders a person from loving God totally and loving others will have dire consequences.