Sitting in my heated office, rain belting my window pane, I dwell in civilised luxury. But my ruminations now are at best hollow, a chasing after the wind - for Islam arises and Christians suffer unspeakably.
Prophetically Churchill penned of Islam (over a century ago) there is no stronger retrograde force existing in the world.
On August 24th (just last week) three year old Kristina (pictured above) was taken from her parent's car as they fled the Islamic State:
IS gave the residents of Qarakosh notice to leave by 24th August, 2014 or die. On the way out Kristina's family were stopped by the IS fighters. This is the mother's testimony:
"They told us to convert, die or leave. We left. They stopped the car on our way out. I had Kristina on my lap, in my arms, and one of them dragged her out of the car. I went out, got on my knees and begged them to give me back my baby. He told me to go back in the car or they would kill all of us, starting with her first"#
Coincidentally this morning I also received an email from a subscriber currently serving in Moldova, the poorest country in Europe; the home of abject poverty.
My comfort, my western Christian ease and my impotence stirs and chastens me.
I am now held between Moldova and Northern Iraq, hemmed in and sadly wondering.
The first Christian martyr - Stephen, witnessed heaven open before his eyes as he prayed while being stoned:
But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:5-6)
O Lord give my brothers & sisters now in torture, fearing their life and poverty a vision of what you have for them, sustain them in their darkest hours, for they long to see you so much more deeper than I. Amen
It is the blood of these saints, the unknown Kristinas that flood a land no eye has seen nor ear has heard.
I now again reckon my goals, audit my devotions, gaze at my savings and consider what I won't give up - where does Kristina lie in my heart or plans?
Can we look together to our future with the faith-washed eyes of Christian martyrs and the Christian poor; for this earth cannot be all there is?
Is it only a Katrina that soaks our souls with thoughts of heaven?
It is in suffering that we will then raise our eyes to heaven's waiting glory.
Today's Soul Snippet:
"Teach me Father to pray for what is on your heart and not just mine."
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#this was reported on the Australian Facebook page of The Christian Democrat Party.