A Matter of Life and Death
When my daughter Kate asked about my day at work I told her, “It was pretty good, until the end of the day.”
I explained that I was in a meeting and someone told the story of a young woman in another country who had been killed by her father and brother because she decided to leave the family’s religion and follow Jesus. There are other details to the story that I can’t share publicly, details that brought the story close to home. Some mistakes had been made that compromised this woman’s safety, mistakes that I could have made as easily as anyone.
The thought of this young woman losing her life left me stunned and almost unable to concentrate on the rest of the meeting. I still feel a heaviness as I write this.
“We have it so easy here,” Kate said.
She’s right, of course. Believers in the United States are not usually tortured for following Jesus. Some people are shunned by their family. I was not. Some of us might experience teasing. I have, but just a little. Discrimination on the job? I’ve only worked for Christian organizations so I’ve never been passed over for a promotion because I was a Christian. I’ve had it easy. Maybe too easy.
What have I sacrificed for following Jesus? Virtually nothing. I’m asking myself some hard questions tonight. I don’t want this young woman’s life and death to pass by my consciousness without changing me somehow. If nothing else, I want to live more courageously. I want to be more bold in declaring that I am a follower of Jesus. It is a truth worth dying for. And a truth worth living for.