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Love Your Enemies: Did She Take It Too Far?

Reports just surfaced that Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in Doswell, Virginia, after numerous cemeteries declined to offer his body a final resting place.

Martha Mullen, a seminary graduate who works in mental health, heard over the radio that officials could not find a cemetery willing to accept Tsarnaev's body.  She was moved by the story, recalling Jesus' command to Christians:

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" - Matthew 5:44

Mullen contacted officials in Richmond and Massachusetts and quickly made arrangements to have Tsarnaev buried in nearby Doswell, where she facilitated the funeral. 

After reading this news on the Washington Post, I have to admit that I was stunned for a few reasons:
  • Doswell is close to home, about 2 hours away
  • Why should my home state intern the body of a man who committed such horrors?
  • How could Mullen be so compassionate?
  • Why am I not that compassionate?
I have to admit, I am humbled and broken by this story.  Here is a woman who, prior to hearing a story on the radio, had no direct involvement with the suspect, but took pity on him and coordinated the details for his burial.  

What motivated her to do this?  

 

She told the press simply that Christ commands us to love our enemies.  

Wow.  

What love is this?  Love that cares so deeply for the needs of others that it lays aside all personal ambition and emotion.  Love that looks beyond the media and simply chooses to obey the calling of a Mighty God.  Love that forgives, and forgets.

You, Martha Mullen, are an inspiration.  My thoughts, and my thanks, are with you tonight.


Photo credit: Laris Karklis/The Washington Post

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