What happens when a boastful Nazi encounters the love of Christ in a Jewish home? A story of redemption that is nothing short of a miracle! For close to twenty years I have studied and researched the spiritual lives of some of history’s most amazing people. I have read thousands of stories and can assure you that few come close to that of Richard Wurmbrand.
Having lost his parents and siblings during the Holocaust, Wurmbrand married a woman whose family also perished in Hitler’s death camps. A few years after the war ended Richard found himself in a small restaurant sitting next to a Romanian soldier who didn’t know he was Jewish. The soldier began to boast about his evil deeds in killing Jewish people during the war. Richard asked the Romanian to return with him to his home to continue his story. Believing he had found an eager listener the soldier agreed.
As they sat down in Richard’s living room, Wurmbrand said to the soldier, “Give me ten minutes to share something with you. After that you can say what you like.” The soldier sat quietly and listened as Richard began to unfold his own history of losing his family and of being tortured in the concentration camps himself.
Then he continued, “In the other room is my wife, she is Jewish, and so am I. Both our families perished in concentration camps. You boasted of killing Jews, so you are the murderer of my family.”
As the soldier held his breath, Wurmbrand explained that his wife was feeling sick and had been in bed all day. He said, “I want you to go into the room and tell my wife who you are. I can assure you, though she is sick, she will hold no ill will towards you, but will consider you and honored guest. Though sick she will prepare you coffee. Then consider, if my wife can do this, being only human, knowing what you have done, how much more will Jesus forgive, who is love?”
Barely able to move, the soldier went into the other room as Richard had asked, and events unfolded just as he had been told. Moved by the tenderness with which he suddenly found himself being treated, the soldier gasped, “What have I done,” and dropped to his knees. Richard’s wife fell on the soldier’s neck and kissed him. Wurmbrand would later write, “It was a scene of love like in heaven.”
One of the oldest prayers in history is simply, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” For two millennia people have humbly offered these twelve words. Regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey I challenge you to simply say them and then sit in silence for fifteen minutes. There in the solitude of the moment you will learn much. It will transform your day, and more than that your very life. Isn’t it time to step into your own scene of love, just like in heaven?