Today I was reading a book to my children, and as I neared the end of the section we were reading I burst into tears. With many stops and starts, I managed to squeeze out the end of the chapter between the suppressed sobs.
I believe that God sometimes lets us feel his emotions. I was reading End of the Spear, the part about the five missionaries being martyred on a sandbar in a river in the Amazon jungle in 1956. I am convinced that to God, the spearing of those missionaries by the "Aucas" is one of the most significant events in history. I don’t believe God weeps about it; we’re all individuals, and we all express God’s Word in different ways when it comes. The weeping was my expression, but I believe the emotion is God’s. Not sadness, just the incredible awe of one of the most central events of modern history. Untold thousands, perhaps millions, of lives have been changed because those five men gave up their lives to reach the Waodani.
The author of End of the Spear is the son of one of those missionaries. His name is Steve Saint, and he was five years old when the Waodani speared his father. Since then, the families of the five missionaries have turned the Waodani to Christ, and Steve has lived with them and taken Mincaye, the man who speared his father, as a replacement father.
All that is introduction to Steve Saint’s spiritual and insightful assessment of what happened on January 8, 1956. Here’s his conclusions in his own words:
I have personally paid a high price for what happened on Palm Beach. But I have also had a front-row seat as the rest of the story has been unfolding for half a century. I have seen firsthand that much good has come from it. I believe only God could have fashioned such an incredible story from such a tragic event.
I could not begin to record the thousands of people who have told me that God used what happened on Palm Beach to change the course of their lives for good. … If I could go back now and rewrite the script, I would not change a single scene. I have come to understand that life is too complex and much too short to let amateurs direct the story. I would rather let the Master Storyteller do the writing. I don’t say that casually. What happened to Dad was extremely traumatic for me, but even so it has not been the most difficult event in my life.