Seeing Our Persecutors With God’s Eyes

Liuba Ganevskaya had been beaten repeatedly in the Russian prison. But when she looked up at her torturer, holding the whip above her back, she smiled.

By STACY L. HARP
Persecution Blog – Extreme Devotion

“Why do you smile?” he asked, stunned.

“I don’t see you as a mirror would reveal you right now,” Liuba said. “I see you as you surely have been—a beautiful, innocent child. We are the same age. We might have been playmates.”

God opened Liuba’s eyes to see the man differently. She saw his exhaustion; he was as tired of beating her as she was of being beaten. He was frustrated that he wasn’t able to make her reveal the activities of other believers.

“He is so much like you,” God said into Liuba’s heart. “You are both caught in the same drama of life. You and your torturers pass through the same veil of tears.”

Seeing the man through God’s eyes, Liuba’s attitude changed. She continued talking to him. “I see you, too, as I hope you will be. A persecutor worse than you once lived—Saul of Tarsus—and he became an apostle and a saint.” She asked the calmed man what burden weighed on him so much that it drove him to the madness of beating a person who had not harmed him.

Through her loving concern, Liuba ushered her torturer into Christ’s kingdom.

Earthly eyesight is often hindered by a variety of ailments: astigmatism, nearsightedness, glaucoma, and others. Just as our eyesight benefits from corrective lenses, the eyes of our heart can profit from spiritual intervention. Left to our own devices, we see only the bad in others and not the good. But God grants spiritual vision to those who want to see life from heaven’s perspective. We can begin to see an intolerant boss, or someone who insults us, as a wounded individual who needs love. We can see behind the intimidating mask of a rebellious teenager to the frightened girl or boy who is crying out for acceptance. Do you see others with heaven’s eyes? What difference would spiritual eyesight make in your life?

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Persecution Blog

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