Love and Forgive You Enemy?

"I had to Forgive My Enemy".  I wanted to share a story from my past about forgiving from the heart.  I was in the United States Army at the age of 18, at Ft. Riley, Kansas in 1989.  At the time I had a roommate whom I was very comfortable with for about a year.  After he moved out  I got a roommate who I thought was the incarnation of the devil himself.  I had never quite met anyone like him.  Moreover, at the time I was a young Christian trying to learn more about God.  However, this roommate hated seeing me read my bible or talk about God.  He would get very angry when I would mention anything about the Lord.  In fact, when he first moved into my room and saw my bible.  He walked into the hallway and yelled to all of the other soldiers, "Hey we got a guy here with the bible, you guys know what he have to do".  He came back into the room and told me, "When we finish with you, you will be just like us".  This roomate was a very lewd man.  He was a big, strong guy and liked to fight anyone and he had some of his teeth missing.  He would say to some of the young soldiers that if they left their door open he was going to come in and rape them.  So, some of the younger soldiers took him seriously.  Of course, he would tell me the same thing, not to sleep on my stomach.  As a result, I went out and bought a huge hunting knife and sleep with it just in case he tried anything.  But his personality was to bully and terrorize anyone he came in contact with.  But to make a long story short.  I one day asked him to come to church with me.  He responded, "Didn't I tell you I don't like church!!!".  Immediately, he scooped me up by my legs and my body was hanging over his shoulders.  Then he proceeded to slam me into the wall.  He would back up and do it 4 times.  The force that he used should have broken all my ribs, but when he let me go I was unharmed and I laughed.  He just looked at me and said, "I don't understand you.  I just tried to hurt you and all you can do is laugh?".  He walked away confused.  The Lord had protected me from his attack and I felt no reason to feel revenge or retaliate.  However, maybe 2 months later I started to get angry that he had ever put his hands on me and thought about getting back at him.  At the time I started thinking this, we had went on what they called a "field exercise" in the woods (war games).  I was now offended at what he had done.  The Lord Jesus said,"....things that cause men to sin are bound to come, butwoe to the man whom they come through.  It would better for that man if a millstone had been put around his neck and he was dropped into the deepest sea, than to offend one of these little ones".  I now have a deeper understanding of what Jesus meant.  While we were in the woods, this particular roommate got frost bite on both of his feet.  They took him to the hospital and he was in alot of pain and agony.  While he was in the hospital, people were coming by my room and saying, "Hey Thompson would like to see you".  I would respond, "Okay, alright goodbye".  Since, I was offended I could care less what Thompson wanted.  In the course of the week two or three more people came by and said, "Hey, Thompson really wants to see you bad".  Eventually, I felt convicted for not going and I did go.  When I went to the hospital, he was glad to see me.  He said, "I was wondering when you were coming.  Hey I just wanted to let you know, I know you are a good man and God is with you.  All those times I was talking about you and messing with you, that was just my way of saying I love you.  The doctors said they are going to amputate both of my feet.  I don't want to lose both of my feet.  I know that if you pray for me, God will hear you.  You dont' know how much pain I am in. Even with the pain killers it doesn't help.  I have never experienced pain like this in my whole life.  Look at my feet".  So, I uncovered his feet and his feet were swollen badly and discolored.  Tears almost came to my eyes when I saw his feet and I was moved with compassion.  So, we prayed and I left.  Three days later, I heard a commotion down stairs.  I heard the guys saying,"Hey, Hey, what's up Thompson?".  He was walking and he was taking baby steps.  He stopped me in the hallway and thanked me for praying for him.  He said, "I knew God would hear your prayer".  Of course, I did nothing it was all God by Himself.  Okay, how did things change after this.  Now I would walk in the hallways and see Thompson reading a bible and saying that he might come to church with me.  And every now in then when someone would persecute me, Thompson would immediately jump up and say, "Leave Mitchell alone.  Anybody that messess with Mitchell is going to have to fight me because he's praying for me".  Of course, people in the barracks knowing how Thompson was, took his threats seriously.  I learned a powerful lesson from this experience in my life about forgiveness.  The bible says, "Love conquers all".  If the heart to forgive is demonstrated towards those who wronged us and hate us, it moves the heart of God to move on our behalf and your enemy as well.  This was a man who persecuted me as a Christian daily for about a year.  Physically assualted me and a couple of times rounded up other people with two by fours and bats to give me a beating.  But if people are going to see the love of God in the Christians of today, it is because they see the same unconditional love working in us that worked in Jesus Christ.  Now whatever happened to Thompson?  I do not know.  I only know he went overseas to fight in the Gulf War.  I left Ft. Riley and went to Germany during the Gulf War.  When I came back from the Gulf War, I picked up an Army Times journal.  I saw a article about my unit and squad that I was with at Ft. Riley.  The same squad I was with at Ft. Riley was killed by friendly fire from a M-1 Abram (Thompson was on that vehicle).  I immediately felt the Holy Spirit grieved in me.  My last thougts were, "I hope he was saved".
kcirtap kcirtap
36-40, M
8 Responses Jun 17, 2007

Thank you for sharing your story it is very heartwarming and inspired me to be a better man... Thank you :)

Thank you so much for posting this story. It is heart warming, it actually encourages me to be more understanding and forgiving. I hope you are well. Please keep writting, people need to read these stories.

Thank you for sharing your moving story, and I find your willingness and ability to forgive very inspiring. I struggle with true forgiveness myself; I can say 'I forgive you' but sometimes the feelings of resentment still rise to the surface. I'm trying to get better.<br />
One story that inspires me a lot is Master Charles Cannon's. He was in Mumbai during a 2008 terrorist attack, and lost a dear friend in the event. He wrote a book about the experience called "Forgiving the Unforgivable" (http://forgivingtheunforgivable.com) and talks about how forgiveness is an absolute necessity. It's a beautiful story,

Thanks for the reply Laura. God truly gets all the praise and glory. It's been about 22 years since that stuff happened. And since then I have learned more about forgiveness and the power and victory there is in it over the devil. The devil uses it to scar not only the victim, but the attacker as well. The amazing power is how God uses it to save the offender and use the testimony to bring even more glory to Him. But I have to check out that story by Master Charles Cannon. Okay you take care and God bless you sister!!!

God bless you :)

Your story is very moving and well written. You have managed to bring forth a great message for all from GOD himself by working divinely from his Spirit. You have been blessed and that I am sure GOD has greater things in your future for you to do. GOD Bless you, Jim Heitmeyer

Hey glorygirl, I found out the hard way that love does conquer all. When people do you wrong and you continue to love them you are "covering" them just like Christ. When God sees you covering them as His Son, He obligates Himself to move on your behalf. So, you be encouraged sister and I will be praying with you also.

I to am so touched by your story. I have a half sister who hates my and my sister, and her full sister as well, just because we are christians. She continues to attack us and terrorize us. When my dad died, (whom we cared for in the last 7 years of his disease) She caught the power of attorney for her mother and with that power, denied us and our family members admittence to his funeral. (might tell this story in detail later as an ep story). Then she is suing us right now as well for caring for him (waiting for the ruling now). Point is, her devil sister, continue in faith to pray for her continually. Your story is a real encouragement in that area.

your story is very moving... sometimes i get so wrapped up in the little things that get me stressed out in life, and i pray to god to help me. then i feel bad that i'm asking for help for such pathetic little things...