I’ve been listening to Wayne Jacobsen’s multi part series, The Jesus Lens. Today, while hoofing it around the neighborhood, on a perfectly gorgeous, sunny Easter Sunday, I took note of a quote he used to illustrate his point….a quote by Richard Wurmbrand.
I know who Richard Wurmbrand was. He came up a time or two in discussions with Keith during my five or so year stint of wrestling with theodicy and the suffering that abounds all around us. The, if there is a good God, how can there be starving children question. Wurmbrand’s book, Tortured For Christ, moved here with Keith ten years ago and is in the bookcase…along with a few other books he authored.
The short version of his life story can be found on the Voice of the Martyrs website….an organization he founded after he was finally released from prison….the second time. He spent years in a Communist prison…enduring tortures that defy the imagination.
So when I got home from my walk…and settled down on the couch with my I Pad, I looked up the quote on Google. I came across several other quotes that struck me…and I am sharing them in this blog post…..
On Truth…the one Wayne used:
The Bible is a wonderful book. It is the truth about the Truth. It is not the Truth. A sermon taken from the Bible can be a wonderful thing to hear. It is the truth about the truth about the truth. But it is not the truth. There have been many books written about the things contained in the Bible. I have written some myself. They can be quite wonderful to read. They are the truth about the truth about truth about the Truth. But they are NOT the Truth. Only Jesus Christ is the Truth. Sometimes the Truth can be drowned in a multitude of words.
On the flame in his heart:
"In solitary confinement, we could not pray as before. We were unimaginably hungry; we had been drugged until we acted like idiots. We were as weak as skeletons. The Lord’s Prayer was much too long for us—we could not concentrate enough to say it. My only prayer repeated again and again was, 'Jesus, I love You.' And then, one glorious day I got the answer from Jesus: 'You love me? Now I will show you how I love you.' At once, I felt a flame in my heart, which burned like the coronal streamers of the sun. The disciples on the way to Emmaus said that their hearts burned when Jesus spoke with them. So it was with me. I knew the love of the One who gave His life on the cross for us all." Tortured For Christ
And how all crimes….no matter how horrendous….are crimes of a finite nature. Sheds a bit of light…perhaps… on the age old, “What about Hitler” question.
"God sees things differently than we see them, just as we see differently than an ant. From the human point of view, to be tied to a cross and smeared with excrement is a horrible thing. Nonetheless, the Bible calls the sufferings of martyrs light afflictions. To be in prison for fourteen years is a long period to us. The Bible calls it 'but for a moment,' and tells us that these things are working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2Co 4:17). This gives us the right to suppose that the fierce crimes of the Communists, which are inexcusable to us, are lighter in the eyes of God than they are in our eyes. Their tyranny, which has lasted almost an entire century, may be before God, for whom a thousand years are like one day, only a moment of erring astray. They still have the possibility of being saved." Tortured For Christ