“Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:27)
“Father, forgive them. They know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
This article is in two parts. The first part is an illustration of the principle; the second part explains the revolutionary principle from our Lord.
He sat on the upper deck of the United States warship Missouri and watched the so-called Peace Proceedings that put an end to the Second World War in the Pacific. General Douglas MacArthur, representing the United States, said something which brought a sneer to his lips.
“Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.”
Fuchida’s historian writes: “Fuchida listened skeptically. He had doubted his own emperor when he spoke of everlasting peace, and he didn’t believe the general now. No, he thought, you are wrong, MacArthur. Peace isn’t coming to the world. More trouble is coming.”
Mitsuo Fuchida knew that war is the natural state of mankind. People are selfish, and their interests conflict. As long as people have lived on earth, there have been wars, and there will be wars until the end. It’s natural and normal. There’s no way to end it.
Then one day months after the war’s end, Fuchida was talking to some former POWs who had just returned from internment in the United States. That’s when he began hearing of another way.
Some of those imprisoned in the U.S. told of a young American social worker named Peggy Covell who had been so kind to them, even though the Japanese were her sworn enemies.
On one occasion, Fuchida learned the reason for her kindnesses.
A close friend of Fuchida had been shot down and spent the rest of the war in American POW camps. In one of them, he met Peggy Covell. He asked why she was so kind, why she went out of her way to be helpful. He was not prepared for her answer.
I am kind to the Japanese because the Japanese murdered my parents.
Her parents, Jimmy and Charma Covell, had been missionaries to Japan. With other missionaries, they had evacuated to the Philippines when war threatened. Eventually, they were found and beheaded.