Last Friday I told the story of Moishe Rosen who had been punched while street preaching, but was arrested and charged for disturbing the peace when 13 witnesses testified he had thrown the first punch. One of the crowd that was listening to him preach that day was a retired police force captain. Although he was a Jew and didn’t agree with a word Moishe was saying, he saw the whole incident and knew Moishe didn’t throw a punch. He was ashamed of his Jewish brothers who had premeditated to falsely accuse this man.
The charges were dropped at the word of the retired police captain and because the 13 men had filed false police reports, Moishe was told he could have them charged with a felony.
Moishe was asked what he wanted to do. He stopped, sat on the bench in the police station and prayed.
He soon returned to the desk sergeant and said, “I’m willing to forgo the charges on one condition. I want these guys to come to our outdoor meetings every Sunday to keep the peace.”
He only had two months till graduation and then he would leave for his next post, and the street meetings would probably end and, therefore, so would the men’s “sentence”. Moishe later recalled, “This was a glorious turn of events, because after that, each Sunday when I arrived to begin the outdoor meeting, a small, ready-made, albeit less than enthusiastic crowd was waiting for me.”
Moishe often retold this incident as he trained other missionaries. He described it as the perfect illustration of the value of a hostile witness. One person with integrity and absolutely no particular fondness for the accused can give a far more credible defense than any number of friends. This was one of many reasons why Moishe always appreciated good, honest opposition. (p.111-112)
Rosen, R. (2012) Called to Controversey, San Francisco: Nelson Publishers.
AND SO, today I am thankful for the good, honest opposition in my life:
#588 my father never cared for my Christian faith. He simply had no time for it. He would call me “goody two shoes” and it really hurt. I have to say, though, I learned what honesty and integrity were by watching him. If I were wrong he’d make sure I made it right, but if I were wronged, he always knew how to make it right and did not give up till it was. I thank God for life lessons learned from my father.
#589 Cherie, a real person of integrity that sizes every situation up one side and down the other, weighing the impact of each situation at every level. Most of the time we agree, but when we don’t she tells me what she thinks. If she thinks I’m wrong, I get a lesson. If she thinks I’m right, I get direction. I thank God for such a friend.
#590 Carrie is a friend from the past who fills me in on the history that occurred during the decades I was absent from this city in the 1980’s, especially the hospital parts of this city. She kept expressing concern over a colleague of ours who got down-sized and I think wondered why I didn’t heed the intensity of her concern. The situation had to deteriorate significantly till I could see she was right. I will not be as quick to dismiss the sound of alarm from Carrie the next time it goes off. I thank God for Carrie and her vast wisdom.
#591 I think in all marriages there is friction, times when a couple can only move forward if there is pruning, pain or pressure. My husband has opposed me many times. The secret to the longevity of our marriage is that he has never opposed me in public, especially if “the public” were our children. He takes to heart the verse in the Bible that instructs men to love their wives more than their own lives. (It says in Ephesians 5:25 that a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church and gave His life for her.) My husband would go down himself before he would let me go down, but in private he would take me on if he felt strongly that something needed to be addressed. I thank God that a man of integrity loves me.
#592 my cyber-friends who comment and gently lead me to another perspective. Some happen by here who do not realize this is a Christian blog. I love it when they give me the perspective of a non-believer. Sometimes I don’t even give that possibility a thought and my post has an air of self-righteousness about it that does not build the Kingdom. I am thankful for those who leave me honest criticism. They remind me I must pray over the words I put here. I wonder how many just skim, roll their eyes and disappear.
Sorry this posting is so late on Monday, Multitudes,