When I was pastor of the Lakeview Free Methodist Church in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada there was a young man who moved to the city and got involved helping to lead the youth ministry as a volunteer. His name was Rob Semau. My then teenage son Alex thought Rob was both hilariously funny and spiritually challenging.
Imagine my shock to read yesterday's headlines from the Toronto Star online: Capt. Robert Semrau found not guilty of murder - But military panel finds him guilty of disgraceful conduct in shooting of wounded, unarmed Taliban fighter.
I will admit that I have absolutely no objectivity when it comes to Rob's case. From what I have read the evidence at trial included: no body -- conflicting testimony -- virtually no hard evidence of any crime. How in the world did this case ever come to trial? I have no clue.
But if Robert shot a fatally wounded enemy soldier as an act of mercy -- as it appears he might have -- I'm still not sure how that's a crime. If he just shot him to kill him straight up -- he might have gotten a medal instead of a prison sentence.
So all we can do, all I will do, at this point is pray for him. First for his lawyers and the appeals process and whoever decides the final disposition of the case. May justice and common sense prevail. And I will pray mostly for Robert and his wonderful family -- that they will find grace and strength from the Lord no matter what. For now Rob is in the lion's den. In time, no matter what happens, the Lord can bring Rob out the other side stronger and more like the Master. May it be so!
Please pray for Captain Semrau and his family today -- I know I will.