Dan endured daily beatings from the same prison guard. He felt compelled by Jesus to love this man, so one morning, before the beating was about to begin, Dan said, “Sir, if I’m going to see you every day for the rest of my life, let’s become friends.” The guard said, “No sir. We can never be friends.” Dan insisted and reached out his hand.
The guard froze. He began to shake, then grabbed Dan’s hand and wouldn’t let go. Tears streamed down his face. He said, “Dan, my name is Rosoc. I would love to be your friend.” The guard didn’t beat Dan that day, or ever again.
Scripture tells us, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21–22). The “coals” imagery may reflect an Egyptian ritual in which a guilty person showed his repentance by carrying a bowl of hot coals on his head. Similarly, our kindness may cause our enemies to become red in the face from embarrassment, which may lead them to repentance.
Who is your enemy? Whom do you dislike? Dan discovered that the kindness of Christ was strong enough to change any heart—his enemy’s and his own. We can too.
And that’s the memo.
By Mike Wittmer and Our Daily Bread