As Christians, we often feel like we have a good grasp of the Gospel and that we understand the nature of the God we serve…..but do we really? I now know that, before God placed Jahar on my heart, I absolutely did not. Although we may “know” that we have a God whose perfect love is merciful and forgiving……although we may “know” that Jesus died on the cross for our sins……although we may “know” that our salvation is based on faith alone and not on works……it is so easy to fall into the worldly way of thinking: that “good” people go to Heaven and that “bad” people to go Hell.
Whenever someone finds out that I pray every single day for an accused terrorist and murderers and rapists on death row – I get my fair share of scoffing. “Forget lethal injection….he deserves to be tortured to death.” “Is that really where you feel your prayers are most needed? Shouldn’t you be praying for innocent people suffering from illness instead?” “Why waste your time? He’s going to hell.” “How could you pray for such disgusting scum!?!?”
The truth is, when you pray for someone every single day….you truly begin to care about them. In fact, you actually begin to love them. You begin to see beyond where they’ve been and what they’ve done. You start to understand that they have a God who sees beyond that too……A God who loves them infinitely more than you ever could and is completely brokenhearted over them.
So while some may scoff at the fact that they will be amongst former murderers and rapists in Heaven one day – I rejoice in it. I celebrate every time I get a new brother or sister in Christ…..no matter who they are or what they have done. And as Christians, shouldn’t we all?
Moreover, coming to understand the depth of our Savior’s love for Jahar and these inmates has also allowed me to fully understand the depth of His love for me in a way that I otherwise never would have…..and it blows me away. I have never felt more loved in my life.
Now that God has revealed His true nature to me through this calling on my heart, I praise Him a little louder and worship Him a little more intensely. I am in absolute awe of the redemptive power of Jesus. And I will continue to love on and pray every day for terrorists and rapists and murderers……because they have a God who loves them unconditionally and is waiting at the gates of Heaven for them to come home.