Hope, Weapons & Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

This Sunday is Easter. Easter is all about hope; so is this blog. Isn’t it odd then that the writer of it (me) should frequently battle overwhelming feelings of hopelessness?

No, it isn’t.

Weapons can do two things: protect or destroy. This post is about those times when they are wielded with intent to do the latter.

In addition to hope, Easter Sunday is also about the defeat of our ultimate enemy: Satan. The weapons wielded against us in life come from him. When they do, we can fold and run or we can stand our ground and in the name of Jesus watch his weapons fail.

Jesus, name above all names…

Material Deprivation
Emotional Neglect
Our family of origin
Our kids
Memories of our past failures
Memories of abuse suffered

Every one of us has weapons that are formed against us in life. We may not call them that; we may not realize that is their function, but no matter how we refer to them, for many of us, the list is long.

Life was already hard for Dzhokhar before someone bombed the Boston Marathon…

His parents were thousands of miles away in another country. He missed them terribly, ached to be close to them, to feel love, security and acceptance. I can easily imagine how he longed for a family dynamic that had never really existed.

He learned to live with an emptiness on the inside that no amount of weed, alcohol, fast cars, girls, money, achievement or religion could ever fill. He learned to cover pain with a sense of humor. He learned to evade questions. He learned to deflect the overtures of anyone who tried to get too close.

He became the one who gave, who helped, who was there for others. This quality sprang from who he was at birth. It was not a learned behavior – no one was there for him.

In the months before the marathon he sat in class numb with the realization that life was fast spinning even further out of control. His brother, now a frightening, volatile, unstable entity he could no longer closely relate to or understand, was the absolute head of the only family that remained under a familiar roof. And he would soon lose that roof; the little family was facing eviction. He was also failing in school and deep in debt with no real skills to go out and get a decent job.

Alone and adrift in the world, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was just another kid with adult-sized problems and no clue how to fix them.

And then someone bombed the Boston Marathon and laid the crime at his feet…

“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3

Is this Bible verse talking about Jesus or Dzhokhar? Well, both actually. This is how God’s hall-of-fame-ers are formed.

This week, I spent some time with my daughter. It started out badly and proceeded to get worse. I was battling depression even before I arrived at her house.

Why Do Parents Always Say the Wrong Thing?

I don’t recall what started it. Perhaps it doesn’t even matter. But suddenly there we were in the middle of another verbal free-for-all about the past and my total responsibility for it.

I do remember crying. I do remember it becoming hard to breathe. I do remember her tone and the look on her face. I do remember some of the words…

“Get out…”

“I never want to see you again…”

“I never want to hear from you again…”

All things I’ve heard her say before.

“It was my fault.”

“I know I hurt you deeply and I am so sorry.”

“I love you more than anything and hope with all my heart that one day you can forgive me.”

All things I’ve said to her before.

Still her tirade continued. Healing takes time. The offender must be patient. The offended chooses the timing of forgiveness – if they choose it at all…

Today did not look like it would be that day. Tomorrow was not looking good either.

And then, something amazing happened…

In the midst of her tirade, in the midst of all this raw emotion, as we sat not more than two feet apart on the small couch, God spoke to me:

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper.” Isaiah 54:17

God wasn’t finished speaking with just that Bible verse. As my daughter continued, so did He: “Your daughter’s anger has been a weapon formed against you. Depression has been a weapon formed against you. No weapon that is formed against you will prosper.”

And with those words of comfort and hope from the Lord, the pain instantly left, making possible the next amazing thing that happened that day. As her verbal assault continued, I suddenly found myself spontaneously extending my hand to gently rub, pat and scratch her back, giving comfort in a manner I’d repeated many times during her childhood.

And it was this unexpected act of love that broke through to her. She began to cry even harder than before. And then she began to apologize – over and over.

I did not lose my daughter that day. I did not leave her house overcome with despair and depression. No weapon that was formed against me that afternoon had been able to prosper.

It will be the same for Dzhokhar…

No prison can hold him forever. No abuse can destroy him. Religious traditions and teachings of men will not deceive him forever.

God will have His way.

One day, in this life, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will meet Jesus. One day his prison cell, his heart and mind, the look in his eyes, his very life will be transformed by an encounter with the living God who the Bible says is a very present help in the time of trouble.

Dzhokhar will experience his first Easter.

And it won’t stop there. One day, Dzhokhar will be free, ready to begin changing the world with his testimony. Quite possibly, it will begin with the words of Genesis 50:20

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

“No weapon that was formed against me prospered: not the bullets from their guns, not the abuse from the guards, not the pain of false accusations, not the loss of my brother, not the misdirected hate from the victims, not the experience of solitary confinement, not the lies of the FBI and the prosecution…no weapon that was formed against me prospered. To God be the glory!”

Even with all the videos already out there about Dzhokhar, I’d like to someday make one of my own. Beginning with scenes from his wrestling days then moving through the events of the bombing and its aftermath, my video would conclude with footage of Dzhokhar walking out of prison a free man. In that video, no actors would be needed.

When viewing it, unlike most videos we have seen about him so far, there would be no doubt as to what has been portrayed: that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, though falsely accused, hunted and wrongly convicted, was finally and forever set free!

If I do make that video, the following song will be the soundtrack to the events of his life. Let it be ours today as well.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

by: Mandisa

Staring at a stop sign
Watching people drive by
T Mac on the radio
Got so much on your mind
Nothing’s really going right
Looking for a ray of hope

Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you:

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight til the final round
You’re not going under
Coz God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds you
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

Everybody’s been down, hit the bottom,
Hit the ground
Ooh, you’re not alone
Just take a breath
Don’t forget, hang onto His promises
He wants you to know

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight til the final round
You’re not going under
Coz God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds you
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

The same man, the Great I Am
The One who overcame death
He’s living inside of you
So just hold tight,
Fix your eyes on the One who holds your life
There’s nothing He can’t do
He’s telling you…

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight til the final round
You’re not going under
Coz God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds you
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

So don’t quit, don’t give in
You’re an overcomer
Don’t quit, don’t give in
You’re an overcomer
Don’t quit, don’t give in
You’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

Published by: iwasleah10years

Winston Churchill said no crime is so great as daring to excel. I am ready to take that dare. An unexpected and somewhat unexplainable compassion for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has drawn me out of my comfort zone.


5 thoughts on “Hope, Weapons & Dzhokhar Tsarnaev”

  1. Such raw emotion in this blog Lynn. I admit I pulled out my box of tissues. This showed a lotta heart…yours. How God spoke to you that day with the struggle of finding the forgiveness of your daughter and bouncing back from such a negative moment just proves how big God is. He will hear Jahar’s prayers. His cries. His pleads. One sweet day Jahar will feel the air on his face again and he will be titled The Overcomer…

    1. Lincoln, your comments here moved ME to tears… I agree with you that our God is using the big and small, the beautiful and the ugly side of life… everything He is using to further His perfect and unstoppable plan for Jahar’s life, for mine, for yours, for my daughter’s, for all who will hear His voice, put their trust in Jesus and accept what His love has done and is still doing in this lost and crazy world.

  2. Very empowering. Jahar will surely be free. I believe with all my heart that he will get a second chance. May God be with him and with all of us. Amen.

  3. I love how you said this “Resident evil doesn’t get to finally triumph in this one.” No, it does not!

  4. we all feel this way. we have connection to our hearts and higher minds, and the depth of our hearts know the truth about this tragic event that was created, contrived and (attempted to be) covered up by the real perpetrators themselves. ‘resident evil’ doesn’t get to finally triumph in this one. that’s why we’re all still here and will never forget or let this one go by. light will extinguish the malicious deeds of the darkness. his freedom will tell its own story once all the exculpatory evidence in his favor is allowed to be presented. the cover up will unravel and be exposed at the speed of light…

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