Sixty-three 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 forty months as a POW?including thirty-four 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, ten 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. . . . [M]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 ten thousand 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 thirty-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?re 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.
For further reading and information:
Today?s BreakPoint offer: The How Now Shall We Live? Devotional is a wonderful Christmas gift for loved ones and friends?and a great way for you to start the new year too! This 365-day devotional will help you live boldly for Christ in today?s world.
?I Am the Praying Mother of Jacob DeShazer ,? Missionary Tidings, April 1957.
Geraldine Hawkins, ? Former Doolittle Raider, POW shares experiences .?
Tom Neven, ? Glory from the Ashes ,? Focus on the Family, 2001.
Learn more about Jacob DeShazer .
Mitsuo Fuchida, ? From Pearl Harbor to Calvary ,? Christian History (first published as ?From Pearl Harbor to
Tech. Sgt. Mark Kinkade, ? Tokyo Raiders ,? Airman, August 2001.
David Seamands, ? The Kamikaze of God ,? Christianity Today,
Gordon William Prange, God?s Samurai: Lead Pilot at Pearl Harbor (Brassey?s, 2003).