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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Afraid? Of what?

by Pam Roth
Back in the 70’s, my husband worked as a youth director.  During that time, a group of students performed, For This Cause, a powerful play about martyred missionaries John and Betty Stamm.  The Stamm’s were missionaries in 1934 in communist China.  During that period of Chinese history, it was not uncommon for bandits to come into towns to kidnap people for a ransom or to vandalize and then murder their victims.  To these bandits, foreigners were seen as wealthy so this young, American missionary couple became one of their prey.  

As I think about fear and faith, my heart resonates with a poem from that play many years ago.  Although the poem, by E.H. Hamilton, was not written about the Stamm’s merciless murder, it was written about another martyred missionary, Jack Vinsen.  As you read the words to this poem, consider what the “bandit” is that may be holding you captive.

Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit's glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?


Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Savior's face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?


Afraid? Of what?
A flash - a crash - a pierced heart;
Brief darkness - Light - O Heaven's art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?


Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven's rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?


Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not -
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?


You may not be a missionary overseas like the Stamms; however, you recognize the importance of living a life of faith.  How would you answer the following questions?

  • What requires faith in your life right now?
  • What is keeping you from stepping out and living a life of faith?
  • Who could help you in your discovery process?
Feel free to leave a comment below.
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