A Doctor’s Death and the Birth of Terrorism

Remembering the martyrdom of Paul Carlson fifty years later

A year and two days after
our young President was killed,
a sniper’s bullet found the rebel’s aim.
A missionary doctor
loved in Congo and at home
left a legacy while gaining tragic fame.

Paul Carlson died trying
to escape and climb a wall.
He came so close to finding freedom’s gate.
But this young, brave physician
paid a martyr’s sum instead
while succumbing to the violence of hate.

That dark day in November
back in 1964
life became a time we never will forget.
A world defined by terror
and the death of innocence
still reminds us of sin’s never-ending debt.

And now fifty long years later
what played out in Stanleyviile
is a script that’s followed far too frequently.
Terror’s drama owns the headlines
as aid workers lose their heads
while we pray to God for justice endlessly.

Lord, have mercy! End the violence!
Don’t neglect the orphan’s cry.
Hear the prayer of victims paralyzed by fear.
Grace the grieving with assurance
that Your Kingdom will yet come
and that You will wipe away each anguished tear.