Fallen reporter Colvin an example to Christians

22 02 2012

I was struck by the report of a seasoned American journalist Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Ochlik, a Frenchman, killed in Homs, Syria. I was drawn to this story because I see in them an example of what the Bible means by the word “witness.”

First, a quote from the ABC article.

“Colvin lost an eye from a shrapnel wound in Sri Lanka in 2001, an injury that she said “is worth it” in a 2010 speech on the dangers of conflict reporting.

“Covering a war means going to places torn by chaos, destruction, and death … and trying to bear witness,” she said at a memorial for fallen journalists.

“Someone has to go there and see what is happening. You can’t get that information without going to places where people are being shot at, and others are shooting at you.”

We translate the English word “witness” from the Greek work, martus. When becoming a witness for Christ became a calling that resulted in death, the word took on the meaning of “martyr”.

It is true that a journalist should just report the facts (unless she clearly indicate that she is editorializing). But here is a reporter who hoped that in reporting the facts she could make a difference. She believed that by revealing injustices happening in another part of the world that help would be stirred, the lives would be spared.

Increasingly, being a witness for Christ costs us something, even in America. I feel that cost when I try to turn a conversation to spiritual things. There is resistance. But that is where I must be willing to die to self in order to spare a life. We feel that cost when we choose righteousness when no one is looking.

I pay tribute to Colvin today, and thank her for her service.  I pay tribute to brothers and sisters in Christ, around the world and in America too, who are dying to self to bear witness of the change Jesus has made in their lives. Let’s all take courage today.