Assassin: (n) a murderer of an important person in a surprise attack for political or religious reasons.dictionary with letter A

In no other holiday do we have such a tidal wave of emotional upheaval as occurs during Easter week. In the course of four days, we commemorate the arrest, trial, death, burial and resurrection of a Savior. It is a collage of emotions that normally would be spread over a longer period of time.

But during the Easter season, my thoughts always go to the relationship between Judas and Jesus.

Historically, we have begun to call Judas “Iscariot,” which is the Greek word for “assassin.” Also, through the passage of time, Jesus of Nazareth has gained a different surname, being referred to as “Christ.”

But at one time, these two men walked together as friends–both human, both encountering similar situations, but coming to completely different conclusions.

Therefore, for all posterity, one will be an assassin and the other, the anointed one of God.

Some people think this isn’t even fair. They demand a more balanced approach.

But Judas made one very major mistake, and it is the same error that causes every assassin to become notorious instead of glorious.

Every assassin gets in a hurry.

Deep in their minds, they have an agenda which they feel needs to be performed, and because of their impatience, they lose their own souls.

Whether it’s Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Booth, Sirhan Sirhan, or Judas of Kerioth–known as “the Iscariot”–in all cases, they fail to realize that time, circumstances and the need for perseverance are often much better eliminators of riff-raff than a bullet or a betrayal.

Judas was an assassin. He was an impatient Jew who was tired of Roman rule and was angry that Jesus did not share similar vengeance in his heart.

It was a dastardly choice.

Unfortunately … eternal.


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Assailant: (n) a person who physically attacks anotherdictionary with letter A

It happens every time without fail–especially when I’m watching some sort of special broadcast about the assassination of John Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln.

It’s the idea that one isolated human being can literally become pickled in his or her own thoughts, leaving such a sense of nastiness inside that the poison must be released in some manner to keep them from disintegrating right before our eyes.

When my children were much younger, one of them asked me why people did such evil deeds to one another–why an assailant would viciously and brutally mutilate another human being.

I gave a very simple answer–one I hoped my son’s young mind could understand.

“You’ve got to take care of your crazies.”

Whether we want to admit it or not, every family has one crazy, and maybe more. It’s just a human being who’s born a bit emotionally mis-shapen, spiritually vacant and mentally twisted.

This kind of individual never learns to absorb the beauty which comes in life and is stored deep inside of us, to protect us from the despair that often fallows.

If we don’t watch out for the crazies we know, and instead pretend it’s none of our business, we will soon find ourselves interviewed by CNN, asking us when we knew that our loved one or friend had taken a turn for the worse.

What would have happened if the sane people in Lee Harvey Oswald’s life had quietly cornered him and disembowled his hatred and diffused the ticking bomb in his heart?

What if the family and friends of John Wilkes Booth had kept him busy with conversations, or even family projects, which would have preoccupied his mind, away from the insanity of killing Lincoln?

What if the young friends of Adolph Hitler had curtailed his insanity in the early days of his youth, using peer pressure, intimidation and positive reinforcement?

It’s just too easy to call evil “satanic” and to refer to everything good as falling from the heavens and the hands of God.

We have a responsibility to extol the good and the best in one another and smother the monsters inside the crazies of life–before they have a chance to grow.


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