Watching the new film The Railway Man is not an enjoyable experience, but there’s an important message in it. It’s about overcoming the suffering experienced as a result of the worst kind of abuse and cruelty by forgiveness.
Eric Lomax suffered for many years from after being tortured in World War 2. As the years passed, he never found peace or healing. Eventually he meets his former enemy face to face and overcomes the urge to murder him and make him suffer in revenge. Instead he forgives him and the incredible happens; his former enemy becomes his friend.
We don`t often see anything Christian in modern films but, after realistic scenes showing the horror of Eric being tortured, one of the other prisoners of war recites these words from Psalm 23; `Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows`.
In real life Takashi Nagase, the Japanese officer who had been there when Eric was tortured, had suffered greatly too from the trauma. He was impacted in a life changing way when he accompanied allied officers on an expedition up the `death railroad` after Japan surrendered. He was taken along as their translator and said he experienced something new and fresh amongst his ex-enemies.
He thought for a long time about the attitude of the prisoners of war and their `iron will`. He wrote in his autobiography `Some 30 years after the end of the war I realised this solemn fact. It is God that they believe in. It was thoughtless of me of little faith not to have understood this. They were expecting God’s righteousness to be done`.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, I thank You that the long years of damage and pain from trauma suffered by Eric Lomax and Takashi Nagase were healed by the power of forgiveness and real reconciliation in their relationship in such a miraculous way. I pray that their example will help many others to find healing. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.