The Evil Eye

I read something in James Bradley’s book, Flyboys, I thought was interesting. But first a little background. Bradley describes the Japanese invasion of China known as the Rape of Nanking. It was a terrible invasion and unspeakable things were done. Tominaga was a student at Tokyo Imperial University who planned for a life in a civilian career but was drafted as an officer in the Imperial army. He describes his first meeting with his platoon in China,

“I’ll never forget meeting them,” Tominaga recalled. “When I looked at the men of my platoon I was stunned – they had evil eyes. They weren’t human eyes, but the eyes of leopards or tigers… The longer the men had been at the front, the more evil their eyes appeared.”

One of the initiation rights for every new Japanese officer was that they were required to chop off the head of the enemy… not in battle but the head of a bound, weak, emaciated POW. Tominaga did this with much fear but after word he speaks of feeling a sense of power that he had never felt before.

At that moment, I felt something change inside me. I don’t know how to put it, but I gained strength somewhere in my gut. Until that day I had been overwhelmed by the sharp eyes of my men when I called the roll each night…. (now) I no longer noticed.”

Romeo Dallaire was a the Canadian commander in charge of UN forces in Rwanda. He describes a similar experience in negotiating with the commanders of the Hutu forces there,

But what I saw in those people, in their eyes, was not the eyes of human beings. It was the eyes of evil. And I call it the devil because then my religion sort of qualifies it as that. And they were the devil; they were the evil. They had blood on their shirts. I mean, they could negotiate with me with no passion whatsoever, simply saying, ‘Yeah, OK, we’ll stop massacring here, so that you can move, you know, people between the lines for about two hours, and then we’ll start up again…. In Rwanda, I shook hands with the devil, so I know there is a god. I know the devil exists, and therefore I know there is a god.”

Anyway, all of this gives new meaning to what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount,

“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! NASB Matthew 6:22-23

Its easy to forget how dark this world is without the Light.

“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan– 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death {2 Or land of darkness} a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:1-2

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