Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, baby brother
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, immigrant
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the quiet, thoughtful child
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, honor student
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, captain of the wrestling team
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, hottie
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, college student
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, stoner
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, pot dealer
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, beer pong champion
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, risk-taker
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, suspect #2
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, monster
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, bomber
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, death row inmate
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Muslim, pursuing God
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one pursued by God
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, former death row inmate
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, evangelist
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, guest speaker
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, voice of the voiceless
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, human rights activist
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prison reformer
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, friend of outcasts
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, champion of the forgotten
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, follower of Jesus
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, child of God
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, apostle
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, God’s lightning rod
Some men enter prison innocent of the crimes for which they have been accused and convicted. Others are washed clean in the waters of repentance as they encounter the true and living God who waits with open arms to restore and forgive that which man cannot.
You can be sure that God has been hearing the prayers rising from prison cells across this nation and the world, uttered by men and women incarcerated for years under inhumane conditions. Whether or not their actions placed them there, God loves and cares about them.
No matter what label you believe should apply to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Jesus died for him and loves him. I am unashamed to say I not only believe in his innocence, I believe God has a divine purpose in allowing all that Dzhokhar has gone through and continues to endure.
Today, I had an amazing experience. While going about my morning chores, I was suddenly reminded of a woman who inexplicably made herself an enemy, causing me great pain, fear and harm. I am still assaulted by memories of a time when I was at her mercy. Each time I am surprised by these memories, I experience intense anxiety.
But today was different. Today, I saw not just the pain I suffered at her hands, but her own inner turmoil and hurt. Miraculously, it was enough for me to be able to understand and, while not liking what she put me through, I was still able to really forgive.
How did I know I had finally forgiven her? After all, I had tried to on more than one occasion. I knew because I found myself praying for her. Genuinely praying; asking God wholeheartedly to use events in her life to create for her a path to healing. I told Jesus that without Him, this woman will be lost forever. My emotions connected with my words; I meant what I said. I wanted this woman to find peace, healing and freedom. I wanted her to find Him.
God is still at work in this wicked world. He is still orchestrating events to draw people of all nations, all faiths, to Himself. He is still opening blind eyes and causing the deaf to hear, the lame to walk.
He continues to do so with me, showing me where I am still blind, deaf, lame. I have not arrived yet, but I am moving in the direction of freedom and wholeness, sometimes an inch at a time.
I believe God is using this blog. Someday, I believe he will use Dzhokhar, giving him a new name:
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one whose face is marred
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one whose heart is whole
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, God’s mouthpiece