She sat in my living room, a cup of hot tea steaming in her hand. Wisdom is etched on her face, almond eyes sharp and intense. Her joy radiates from a place deep within, not dependent on circumstances or perceived safety but on the knowledge of who she is and whose she is.
“Do you feel safe there?” I asked this question though I knew the answer in my spirit. My visitor, my sister in Christ from a small country in the far East, looked hard at me.
“No. I do not feel safe. We have to be so careful. They are taking over, beheading people.” Tears sparkled in the lamplight. She spoke as one with authority, with a message that needs to be told and taken seriously by the listener. By me.
“The Christians in your country must be loud. You must speak up or it will be the same here.”
Are we listening?
Her daughters live far from their mother, and she wants it that way. She wants them safe, even though that means huge distances separate them and sometimes years pass between visits. It means they cannot go home for Chinese New Year because they could end up unable to return to their new homes. The world is hard. Complicated. Scary. Unsafe.
This sister hugged me hard, repeatedly. The kindred Spirit joined our hearts and I felt a loss when she walked out of my front door. I cleaned out the teacups and sighed. Her message resounded in my heart.
Is it safe to proclaim the name of Jesus? Right now, in America, it is. But in most parts of the world it is no longer. The act of Baptism alone can bring a death sentence in many countries. The discovery of a Bible can send a believer to prison. Yet here I sit, in the comfort of my American home with a Chromebook at my fingertips. I can tell you freely about the Savior of the world. I can speak about Jesus and go to bed without fearing for my life or the lives of my family. So speak, I will.
I am listening, dear sister. And though I know that, no matter how loudly we proclaim the name of Jesus the Bible tells us that persecution is coming, I will do my part. There is only one way to the Father, my friends, and that is through His Son, Jesus. Any other way only leads to death. Eternity, as I said in my previous post, is a word that feels like rest when I speak it but that is only because I know without a doubt where I will spend it. Please, if you have not surrendered your life to the Savior and allowed him to forgive you and lead you from this day forward, do so today. The sun is setting on this world but there is a dawn coming that will be more glorious than any human can ever imagine.