Pearl Harbor

In “The Spirit behind Badge 145” (Chapter 27), I told the unlikely story of a friendship shared by Jacob DeShazer, one of the Doolittle Raiders, and Mitsuo Fuchido, the commanding pilot who led the raid on Pearl Harbor. There is no logical explanation why these enemies in war became allies in Christ.

Since today is the anniversary of the attack on the Hawaiian Islands, I’d like to address a topic that was foremost on the minds of everyone December 7, 1941, and has been front and center recently due to several acts of evil in the news.

Many blame God for passively watching tragedy unfold, while others criticize those who hit their knees in prayer during the same events. Allow me to reflect on a personal story for a minute.

“Most who criticize God for not intervening in such a tragedy also fail to give Him credit when there is a miraculous intervention, or when others, under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, complete acts of mercy and generosity worldwide,” I wrote “In Memoriam; (to) The Sheer Family” June 11, 2014. Continuing, “I have grown weary of hearing people grouse about the ‘separation of church and state.’ As long as people perish, the church will continue to be more relevant than the state.”

My sister-in-law shared one of the most profound testimonies I’ve heard from a person grieving so intensely, “I visited each of their rooms, fell to my knees at each crime scene and was able to cry deeply, pray and talk with my Savior, thanking Him for receiving them, and asking after their care and mercy for Michael.”

Out of everything I’ve shared over the past 18 months, the “In Memoriam for the Sheer Family” tops the list in my estimation. If you grieve, I would commend it to you today. It contains a depth of understanding surrounding tragedy that only God can impart to us.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with a final thought. The USS Arizona was sunk during the bombing raid in 1941. The Pearl Harbor Memorial was built on the surface above the sunken Arizona. While the memorial serenely covers the submerged battleship, the oil that seeps to the surface is a reminder that 1,102 of 1,177 sailors and Marines killed are still entombed.

We all have some “oil” that escapes to the surface of our lives from prior damage and attacks. Symbolic memorials have been erected trying to cover the damage, but the pain is real and continual. May I suggest there is but one memorial that heals forever, the cross of Christ! Humanity does not offer long term solutions to grief and despair, but God does.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices” (Psalm 37:7).

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

-Jim

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