I was going to write an entirely different post today. But sometimes God nudges me a bit and says “Hey, let’s not make it about what you want to write about today.” Until I comply the nagging does not stop. This is somewhat of a heavy subject matter that often we would rather turn away from.
But I can tell you that the closing of this post will be filled with glory and beauty of a precious life.
There are days that I just can’t help but ask:
“What is WRONG with people???”
Generally, I try to focus on what is RIGHT.
Unless you have been living electronically free for the past week you no doubt have heard the tragic news regarding journalist James Foley. Mr. Foley was captured by Islamic State jihadists in November, 2012. Previous rescue attempts by military personal failed and his life was ended earlier this week.
In this computerized day and age the video showing his murder popped up not only on news sites but then was shared to other social media sites such as Facebook.
I just can’t fathom watching such an act and then passing it on.
Instead of focusing on the beauty of Mr. Foley’s life there were those who chose to view barbarity and cruelty. Some even went on to share the grisly footage under the guise of anger.
Which was exactly what the extremist group wanted.
I for one am not going to give them what they want.
James was the eldest child of Diane and John Foley.
Did you know prior to becoming a journalist he was a teacher and mentor to inner-city students through the Teach for America program at Lowell Elementary School in Phoenix? He later instructed inmates at the Cook County Sheriff's boot camp in Chicago and assisted them in improving their lives.
What a selfless and loving individual!
His fellow journalistic colleagues speak of his courage, generosity and “dedication to truth and understanding”.
James was a son and older brother to four siblings…
…a good friend and uncle.
James was also a fellow follower of Christ.
His family learned from released hostages that their son had been a leader of the captives. “In their suffering he was helping the other prisoners. There were a couple of much younger people in the cell and we were told he would just hold them. We continue to feel weak but when we think of what Jim did we feel strong.” ~ Diane Foley
Mr. Foley was captured once before in 2011. So why did he go back?
His parents, siblings, friends and family members spent an hour with reporters outside their New Hampshire home recently. It was no where near enough time to share what an extraordinary human being he was. (You can see highlights from this appropriate video HERE.)
The Foley’s displayed rare courage and dignity as they spoke of their son.
Diane Foley said, “We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents.”
“Jim would never want us to hate or be bitter. We’re praying for the strength to love like he did.”
“Jim had a big heart and that is what we shared with President Obama. We just pray that Jim's death can bring our country together in a stronger way.”
The Foley's are taking solace knowing their sons suffering is now over. “We miss his joy and his love but he is free now in Heaven.”
Compassion and love is what should be seen and shared.
There are still 19 missing journalists in Syria. Let us pray for their safe return and for all the families.
The Foley’s believe that James offered up his life to save another journalist. With that, this well known verse comes to mind.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.” ~ John 15:13