25 March 2006

It Was The Prayers Wot Done It

We are deeply grateful for all those who prayed for our release. We don’t have words to describe our feelings, our joy and gratitude. Our heads are swirling; when we are ready, we will speak to the media.
So say the one British and two Canadian hostages just rescued from Islamist terrorists in Iraq, somehow failing to notice the hundreds of British and American troops and the tens of thousands of pounds that also seem to have played a role in effecting their release. In fact, the "Christian Peacemaker Teams" they represent have
always made it clear that its members did not want force to be used to rescue them if they were kidnapped or held hostage.
Funny, though; when the troops showed up to bring them back to safety, none of them refused to come. One of their companions, Tom Fox, never had that option; he was tortured and killed a couple weeks ago.

Of course it is entirely possible that the trio's rescue was accomplished entirely through the prayer they mention. I personally have great faith in the power of prayer, and wouldn't sneer at anyone else's belief in it. However, I'm reminded of the old joke about the devout Christian marooned in a flood, praying passionately for God to save him. First a truck, then a rowboat, finally a helicopter offered him a ride out, but he turned them all down, saying, "I have faith that God will rescue me."

Then of course he drowned, and got to heaven in a foul mood, berating God for abandoning him. "What are you talking about?" God retorted. "I sent you a truck, a rowboat and a helicopter." I realise it must be hard for such committed pacifists to accept, but possibly, just possibly, God, who notoriously works in mysterious ways, might sometimes choose to send in the Marines.

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