Imagine waking this morning and seeing or hearing news it is illegal to keep the Bible Sabbath (Saturday) and now only lawful to keep the papal sabbath (Sunday), under penalty of law!  What would go through your mind?

Unless you have suffered persecution, and I have, there is no preparedness for it.  All hearing, teaching, seeing others going through what is considered being persecuted, no matter the historical persecution or what you might consider present persecution for racial discrimination cannot compare to when the door closes with a bang, and you’re left in a room, alone, nothing in it but a cot, combined sink/toilet and the sounds of others, who you cannot see. Wondering when you will get that call for a “lawyer’s visit” which is the only time you are let out of your cell for any length of time.  I remember making friends with a mouse who’d creep in my cell in search for food in the wee hours of the night.  He would not be disappointed for out of my meal allowance I would make sure he could get something.  He was in prison and didn’t know it, but his cellie did—me.

To be honest, I am grateful for what I went through, not once but many times.  It has embolden me.  Made me hard, callous and aware.  Yet, none of this will prepare us for what lays ahead, and not too far in the near future.  Personally, while others are thinking to prepare themselves for hiding out in the woods and mountains, you’d better be planning for wintry months, too.  I’ve been homeless in the winter.  It’s no joke.  It’s no fun being homeless during the summer months either.  I know what that feels like, too.  I know what it is to want a cold glass of water and the closest toilet is looking good.  Do you?  I know what it is scrounge around garbage cans looking for a piece of something, even if it means brushing aside bugs, or removing a bit of mold and I saw a post where people are complaining about a video of someone peeing into Corn Flakes.  Is that all!

I know what it is to have to stare in another man’s eyes and he has no love or concern for you.  He’s doing it for the sake of his pride because others are around hooting and hollering for a fight.  I know what it is to turn my back not wanting to rumble, and waiting for something to either come crashing down on my head or pierce a rib from the back either easing my situation or putting it at an end.  I know what it means to have fear sleeping at night wondering who will crack my skull.  I know fear because I’ve experienced it, not for simply believing what I believe, because it became against the law for doing it.

This is what we are getting ready and to be honest, there can be no getting ready.  How do you get ready for watching your wife, husband or children being destroyed in front of your eyes and all you had to do was simply change your mind and articulate it?  Watching their eyes filled with hope knowing it was in your power to simply set them free.  Would they see the struggle in your eyes looking back at them, making them wonder if you loved them enough to save them?  Watching your wife or daughter being raped, or your husband, father or brother being castrated—physically without medical attendance, all because of what you believe and you won’t change your mind, or, will you?  Will you become weak and think, “Lord knows my heart” but the words coming out of your mouth will show a traitor’s heart!

Persecution is coming and what you are seeing going on in lands not even remotely close to your home on your safe street, safe neighborhood where you do your grocery shopping, or your many errands to the nearby mall, like the commercial says, “Coming to an area near you.”



March 19, 2016