Pounding Heads & Bleeding Hearts

When I have a headache, I basically become an amoeba. If I’m not at home wrapped up in bed, then there’s a good chance that I’m not wasting any energy on smiling or talking or … anything. If I am at home, then I’m lying as still as a possom in the presence of its predator. Usually praying fervently for relief or sleep. Most likely sleep since I know I’ll wake up in the morning with the headache gone.

(For those of you that have headaches every day, I am in awe of your bravery.)

If you’ve been keeping up with news in the United States, you will not be unaware that people get hyped up talking about the loss of our religious freedoms. Read Facebook – preferably after taking Xanax – and you can’t help tripping over posts or comments warning that persecution in America is on its way. Persecution of Christians that is.

Persecution has come to Christians in America. Because persecution is happening to our Christian brothers and sisters around the world.

I have to stop myself from looking at Christianity within national boundaries. It’s easy to fall into that habit: talk in terms like “American church” or the “western church.” Those that accepted Christ as their Savior are all one church. Christ’s kingdom isn’t demarcated by a border fence between Mexico and the US, nor bound inside the 49th parallel. Believing in Jesus means that your true nationality leaves this temporal, terrestrial world, and you become a citizen of heaven and a member of a spiritual body of men and women from all over.

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” (12:12-14)

The rest of this passage in I Corinthians 12 goes on to flesh that out more. Heh. Yes, pun intended.

When I have a headache, even if my toes don’t hurt, they’ll still be affected because they are part of my body.

In America, I’m not physically hurt or demeaned for being a Christian, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be affected for my sisters and brothers in other lands that suffer for naming the name of Christ.

No matter what happens to the religious freedoms in the US, nothing can or should stop Christians here from praying for these persecuted brothers and sisters. We can join with them in asking Jesus “How long before you will judge and avenge our [martyrs’] blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  (Revelation 6:9-11)

Together, we are praying for relief, and this we know: God’s promise is sure. Weeping and pain may endure for a night, but joy – full, bountiful, and oh so abundant joy – will come in the morning.

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