01.28.09

A Martyr for Jesus

Posted in Excerpts at 12:43 pm by admin

EXCERPT – Chapter Fifteen – A MARTYR FOR JESUS

 

orleans-cathedral-built-in-19221

Orleans cathedral built in 1922

And then a stone, about the size of my fist, hit the ground two feet from where I stood, another flew past my shoulder. The rocks hit some of the congregants, and they scrambled toward the house to hide.  I scrambled too.
“Stop, Grace,” my father called.  “Dorothy, Mother, stand up and sing!” he shouted. Dad stood beside us, and the young minister and his wife filed out of the house to stand with us. —
The shouts in the street rose in angry waves, and my bladder pounded in agony.  The crowd was blood-thirsty, their mania swelling and rising with power in an ocean wave.  Like the Christians before me, persecuted by Romans, killed by lions, stoned to death by unbelievers, I, too, would meet my end.
I stopped crying.  I lifted my head and set my chin.  The side yard brightened around me, and I raised my voice and sang upward to the Southern Cross.
Power surged through me and the heaviness inside was gone.  Suddenly I no longer needed to pee.  A light, floating feeling lifted me up, and all around me, tiny specks to light sparked and flickered.  I sang so loud my throat burned. —
The throngs of people in the street had quieted.  The stones stopped.  We hadn’t run. We hadn’t surrendered.  In clumps of twos and threes, the street crown began to trudge back toward the cathedral, toward the rich tones of the church bells.  The church bells were the town’s method of signifying a momentous event and heralding the locals to meet at the cathedral.

Graceann’s Comments

I can still remember how I felt that night, a 9 years old, when I realized I would not die. The book says: “It hit me: the emptiness of an unfulfilled anticipation, a noble calling unanswered, was as searing as any unrequited love. —I’d been prepared for a righteous transcendence.  It couldn’t be over, just like this.
Take me, Jesus! I prayed.  Take me for the sake of the unbelievers!
Most of us find it difficult to understand why someone would be willing to die for a belief.  This experience has made me understand the motivation of suicide bombers: the sincerity in their belief in their cause, their passion and willingness to give their lives for Jihad. When their suicide attempt has failed, it is difficult for someone who has not experienced this to understand their sorrow and disappointment and the failure of the bomb to go off.  The disappointment, together with the failure to execute their mission causes depression and deep sorrow, such as it did for me.  The promise of “72 virgins” is probably only secondary to the fervor and hype they receive in preparation for the suicide mission.

One Response to “A Martyr for Jesus”

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