Persecution

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I heavily debated this. After much deliberation, I have decided to post this journal entry about a dream I had last week. I think two factors combined to create this dream in my brain: the Virginia Tech shootings and Foxes Book of Martyrs, which I recently finished reading. Here is the entry:

I had a dream last night so real and frightening that I woke up sweating and shaking. This is my best attempt to remember it, but I woke up from it at 5am, so the details have all gone a little gray.

The setting: a place just like this, except communism has taken over as government/religion, and Christians are being hunted. Some are captured and are tortured and killed using snakes and other various methods. I am here at the house in Lynchburg on the phone with my Dad, talking with him about how it was frightening, but that the persecution wasn’t too out of control. I think that I might be taken prisoner, but that it is a remote possibility. After all, nothing like that has ever happened to me.

While I am on the phone, the doorbell rings. I remember this part with crystal clarity, and the reason it was so scary was that in my dream, the house was exactly like it is in real life. When the doorbell rings, I am in the doorway to Charlton’s room. I glance around and see a figure I don’t recognize. My internal alarms are not going off yet; after I decide not to answer the door, I walk into Charlton’s room for a moment, and then I come out two men are standing uninvited in the living room. One of the men is holding a piece of paper in his hand. It looks like a classroom attendance sheet. He hands it to me. He says, “Sign it if you are a Christian.” I scan the sheet. On it are the names of many of my friends, including Charlton, and by his name it says host and leader. Some of my friends have signed by their names, some haven’t.

I realize that this is the moment of truth. If I put my signature on this paper, something bad will be happening to me soon. My heart is pounding. I sign my name with shaking hands.

The men leave, retreat to their brown pickup truck. I wait a minute and walk into my room, thinking I am safe for a little while longer. I decide to look out my window into the front yard and I see the truck parked in the front yard, oddly askew. When I look closer, I can see that the driver is putting together a high-powered rifle. Terrified, I instantly drop to the ground, out of the line of fire. A hundred different things run through my head: should I hide in the house? Should I run to the basement? Should I go to the back porch and jump off? I eventually decide that all I have time to do is kneel on the floor in my room and pray and wait for my time to die for my Lord Jesus.

This is when I woke up, shaking and burning, and the thoughts running through my head were a jumble. The most intense thought was that there are Christians today in parts of the world who could be hunted and killed in exactly the fashion I described. Then, I thought: Could I stand up to this challenge? Could I really knowingly face my death for Jesus? And then I realized how much Jesus suffered for me, and hoped that no matter how terrifying it was, I would suffer for Him, praying for Him to give me the strength and grace to endure it.

It was a long time before I got back to sleep.

1 comment:

Jennifer Marie said...

I am so glad you decided to post this...