I went “prepared” to help meet our persecuted family’s needs, yet, instead they held my hands and captivated my eyes. They told me how they pray for America to experience “the blessing of persecution”.
My mind has spun with confusion and questions that felt like being alone in an empty room. These times must come. Undeniably, my spirit has been hungry with anticipation that I too could grasp their secret bliss. Undeniably at a loss as well.
“I have found truly jubilant Christians only in the Bible, in the Underground Church and in prison.” ~Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ
They have accepted our gift of The Martyrs’ Cross, this symbol of remembrance we’ve named after them and their Master, with heartfelt tears even, but I’ve never gotten over it: they’ve given us so much more.
This has perplexed me and visited me like a constant companion for many years now. I’ve wrestled with what it means: what does it look like to live “normal” after these experiences? What is “normal” after gift comes: after gift stings not only your eyes, but the wholeness of your life?
These were the first words I heard Richard Wurmbrand say that seemed to get written with pen made of flame upon my heart,
“To be Christlike is to love beyond yourself.”
It was not what I expected. Traveling off with my romantic ideas of what “I would do for God” I expected raw words like “sacrifice” and “poverty” to be more likely. Instead I clearly heard “go home” and “love”. Love.
I expected extraordinary by a definition I had never questioned and found ordinary much more interesting than I’d ever given it credit or thought God had either.
If you’ve ever wrestled with how to live your “ordinary” life and look at the face of suffering around the world, you’re not alone. Today I want to say though, don’t look away.
Although at first and maybe even at tenth or a hundredth it seems overwhelming, know this is true: Fear masquerades as caution and truth. No, after we’ve looked we’ll never be the same again. But don’t despair, this is good. This is invitation to our heart’s deepest longings fulfilled.
“The call to the work of justice is…not God sending his church out to a place where God cannot be found. Rather, God is inviting us into the place where he is already at work…to experience his profound love for us and for the vulnerable of this world.”
-Jim Martin, The Just Church
Looking ahead with you,
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I am the co-founder of The Martyrs’ Cross ministry, alongside my husband Jay, the designer of this symbol, a prayer tool, that we WEAR around our necks to remember persecuted followers of Jesus, and their persecutors—around the world—in prayer and loving action. Some people call it jewelry, and that’s alright, but to us—it’s more. To us, it’s a WAY. The Martyrs’ Cross is a message we wear around our hearts and minds. Worn in over 26 nations, the message is clear: we will not forget.
By God’s grace and with a commitment to believing in His faithfulness: we will fight for awareness for all of us in the midst of a culture of distraction. When life gets crushing, we will remember how Jesus suffered and as 1 Peter 4:13 (MSG) says “be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.”
What will you get out of subscribing to this site?
The tools and writing we provide will point to the Author and Finisher of our faith, a reminder for you and a sign for others. We bring awareness and remembrance of those who are unjustly treated and persecuted for their faith.
Purchase a cross for yourself or friend, or sponsor a cross to be given to a persecuted Christian here.