Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"There, but for the grace of God..."

I just spent a few moments looking for an image on Google to use on a new Afghanistan persecution article I plan on posting in a few days. But my search was a brief one. My eyes, as they roamed from page to page, began to ache and burn as I viewed images I would rather not have ever seen. I felt as though a fist seized my heart in a cruel grip, squeezing until I could no longer stand it. I was forced to leave it for another day.

I have discovered through my image searches that there is no limit to what can be seen on the internet. We all know that. Anything with the potential for good can also be used for the most vile and wicked means. Man knows no limits to sin. And no matter how innocent and benign your search entry is, you will see things that are intended to offend your faith and our God. That's how the enemy works. If he cannot have your soul, he will certainly remind you he is still actively involved in attempting to destroy as many as possible. The images confirm that.

As sickening as most of the images were, it was a brief introduction to the people within them. They are members of our family. They are brothers and sisters who share a common faith. They were once unsaved sinners, too. Yet, they received salvation through Jesus Christ and were adopted into His family as we, also, were included. Their only crime was the misfortune of being born in a nation that governs with a brutality most Americans are unable to comprehend. And because we do not understand, we are apt to forget them. We live in relative peace. They live in constant fear. Our plates our full. Their children hunger. Our beds are warm. They have no blanket. We go home to our families each day. They are torn from their homes and thrown in prisons. We are able to speak freely of our faith without reprisal. When they do, they are beaten, tortured, shot, chopped to pieces, beheaded, and their bodies are left to rot in the sun. The images do not lie, and it is to our shame that we fail to remember them more often.

I am not sure if having a very active imagination is a gift or a curse. My mind's eye is often able to create pictures in amazing detail. When I read a good book, for instance, it is as though the scenes appear like a movie and can make for a very entertaining experience. However, I also bear the burden of rarely being able to remove a disturbing image from my mind, no matter how hard I try. Although the Lord makes it easier for me when I ask and softens the frame's edges, today's images are burned there. They will remain because I believe it was intended for me to retain them as a constant reminder that my brothers and sisters suffer for the Gospel. It is a reminder to be in constant prayer for them as they boldly present Jesus to their dark nations in spite of what doing so may bring. I praise God for their faithfulness. And as I contemplate on my freedom to write this, I am humbled by their deeds and by these words, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

I hope the image I have presented also moves you to be in constant prayer for Christ's suffering children. They have asked that we do so. It is a reminder that what our brothers and sisters suffer could just as easily come to our shores. Please remember them

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

1 comment:

Mama Mimi (Dana) said...

I have often wondered why I was so blessed to have been born into a secure family in a secure country and be living the life I live right now. God will answer that question for me someday.