Common Suffering

by Stan Mitchell
She was, so Adolph Hitler once said, “the most dangerous woman in England.”
Who was she? A spy? A nuclear scientist, on the verge of discovering the ultimate weapon?
Yet she outlived Hitler, Goering, Himmler, and Mengele, the gruesome foursome. Churchill, Roosevelt, Montgomery, and MacArthur, the men who stood for something right, too, have long been dead. Perhaps Americans and a new generation of Britons have forgotten what this lady meant to the nation in those dark days.
When Hitler’s bombers lit the night with tracers, when London burned, when Londoners huddled in shelters, the night finally came when Buckingham palace, too, was hit. Inside the palace were the two royal princesses, Elizabeth (later to be Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret. Anxious newspaper reporters who toured the charred walls of the palace the next day asked the question that was on everybody’s mind:
Shouldn’t the royal family spirit the princesses away from the center of London for their own safety? The queen mother’s answer was a classic:
“The children will not leave unless I do,” she began. “I shall not leave unless their father does,” she added, “and the King will not leave the country in any circumstances whatever.”
Elizabeth, the feisty Queen Mother, was exactly what the nation needed at that moment. There must have been an irresistible temptation for royalty not to share in the troubles of her subjects. After all, even a Queen Mum loves her children! With the whiff of smoke and flames in the air and the scream of falling bombs overhead, the British royal family remained in London.
When the world burned with hatred and sin, God could have sheltered his son in the comforts of heaven, but he did not. Jesus became human and endured the indignities of humanity. He walked the dusty streets of Palestine, had “no place to lay his head,” and suffered death, surely the factor all humans have in common.
He came to a burning planet and was singed by the same passions we all know. This gives him the empathy that all great figures in history have possessed. He understands our plight.
“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).
From Satan’s point of view, that makes Jesus the most dangerous man in history!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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