I saw a short video tonight with Christians being burned alive. I wasn't looking for it or planning on watching, I just happened across it in my Twitter feed- but I was compelled to watch all 160 seconds of it. It was quite possibly the longest 2+mins of my life. I was sobbing at the end and I'm quite sure I'll have nightmares. There are scenes of horror that will not quickly be forgotten. I've never seen anything like it before. It was horrifying, sobering, gut-wrenching, pure evil. It was persecution and torture.
But I watched it. I MADE myself watch it.
I am sick with it- but I don't regret it.
Because I needed to see it- in all it's sickening horror.
Because I needed to be reminded.
Because this stuff is REAL. It is HAPPENING.
My spirit is in turmoil over it and honestly I'm not sure what to do with what I saw.
I spent some time in prayer. I didn't know what else to do I'm not sure what I said, it was one of those spirit to Spirit conversations. And I'm not 'better', my heart hurts and my head still can't wrap my mind around what I watched- but I know God heard my cries- just as He heard the cries of those martyrs as they burned.
This is often the price of our faith. Ridicule, persecution, torture, and yes, even death.
As rich, first-world, American, cozy Christians it is too easy to just 'know' in our head and in theory that these horrific circumstances are taking place..... way far away, in worlds apart from us. Like I said, I'm not sure what to even DO with how hard these visuals hit me, and I'm not preaching radical changes.
I am haunted by the visuals that I won't soon forgot.
I pray I am haunted by them forever.
I don't WANT to forget.
This brought me to my knees, and that's a good first step. I pray it keeps me on my knees.
I encourage you to watch (with great care!) and be sobered, be reminded, be convicted, be on your knees.
Since originally posting this, I've been overwhelmed by the encouragement and others who are convicted to support our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ- whether through prayer, financially, and in some cases, being called to go spread the Gospel alongside them. I have not been asked to travel to far away lands (yet!?), but I'll tell you for sure that these precious believers are squarely on my radar. There are several great venues to learn more about these Christians. For a great resource to follow, support, and pray for them, I encourage you to check out Voice of the Martyrs; they have an app where you can daily join thousands of other Christians in prayer for those living under persecution as well as many other resources to take a more active role.