“Shoot them, and we will let you live!”
The pastor had struck a deal with the Communists in the Chinese prison where they were being held. But the two Christian girls standing before him were resolved not to renounce their faith. A fellow prisoner who watched the terrible scene described their faces as pale but beautiful beyond belief—infinitely sad, but sweet. They were determined to face death rather than turn their backs on Christ.
The pastor reasoned, “Why should we all three die? If I kill you and they let me live, then I can continue to work among the churches.”
The girls spoke to him softly, “Before you shoot us, we want to thank you for all you have meant to us. You led us to Christ, baptized us, and gave us Holy Communion. May God reward you for all the good you have done. You also taught us that Christians are sometimes weak and commit terrible sins, but they can be forgiven again. When you regret what you are about to do to us, don’t despair like Judas but repent like Peter. And remember that our last thoughts of you are not of hatred and anger, but of love and forgiveness. We all pass through times of darkness. We die gladly.”
But the pastor’s heart was already hardened, and he shot them. Immediately afterward, the Communists shot him.
To love at all is to vulnerable. The reason these 2 ladies were able to love someone who betrayed them was because they knew a Love that would never betray them. When we know Christ, we are free to lose, be hurt, be betrayed, even killed….and though these things will always be painful, they will never be a devastating blow.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Story from VOM www.persecution.com