I went to a happy place this morning. I love waterfront so strolled downtown Kirkland, WA, for several miles. Last night I had viewed four testimonies of unfathomable torture on a production from Voice of the Martyrs. I will be picking up on writing about my studies at YWAM Wiler at week three next but this stuff is hard. I think that when Satan left Heaven and took a third of the angels with him, he set up a camp for bullies. He roamed the earth looking for humans who do not value other humans. Men who could beat a woman on the head with a stick, nearly, to death just because she disagrees on faith issues. A man like that is brainwashed. Even the martyrdom of Stephen includes his statement, Acts 7:60, “…Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Saul was there approving the slaying/stoning. Jesus said in Luke 23:34, “…Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
We have daily regrets but can you imagine being separated from God for eternity and left with the memories that you killed Jesus? That sounds like hell to me. Along with those regrets there are the men who abducted Gracia Burnhum and her husband. After a year in the jungle, constantly moving, Gracia was shot and her husband killed. Anita Smith lost her husband to a shooting when their son was only two years old. Suzanna Koh searched and searched for her preacher husband only to learn of his killing in Malaysia. Helene Berhane suffered for 32 months in prison for singing about Jesus – her gift of worship. She spent most of those days in an empty shipping container somewhere in Eritrea locked inside with a crazy woman. How can they forgive their tormentors? I can hardly forgive a friend who has offended me.
I think if bullies valued these precious women the women would have been protected from unbelievable abuse. When I think of bullies, it is one of my hot buttons. God created our minds to be private places. No one, even a friend, gets to tell you what to think, what movie to like, how to feel about our children, what church to attend, or what to do about a wayward husband. Whether to believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ or the lousy lies of opposing religious tradition is your choice. My mind and my choice. There will be no bullies in Heaven. We, at last, will worship in spirit and in truth, unhindered by the fools of the world who missed the message. The husbands of Gracia, Anita, and Suzanna are already there at great cost to their families.