A few weeks ago, my wife sent me a picture our daughter had drawn. A stick figure that seems wrapped in a straight jacket, that my wife (because she rocks, naturally) asked our daughter to tell her more about.
Let me pause for a moment to remind the reader: We’ve had our daughter home from the DR Congo for a bit over a year now. She’s learned a lot, and grown in so many ways. One of the sources of her growth has been involvement in church activities and lessons. A focus of our children’s’ ministry here at Moundford Free Methodist Church last year was to teach the kids about faithful followers of Jesus. People who suffered for the cause of spreading the good news of the Love of Jesus – even when there were sometimes large prices to pay.
So when our daughter explained the picture to mommy, she shared “It’s daddy, and the mean people tied him up.” My wife asked why, and she said “Because he was telling people about Jesus.”
It may have just been a silly moment of imagination. But it may have actually been something in the back of her mind/heart for months now – wondering if and when daddy might actually be taken away or hurt because of how he spends his time telling others about the Love of Jesus. We’ve assured her, thankfully, daddy doesn’t have to worry about this. My job is safe (although maybe it should seem more threatening to the powers that be at times?) to do.
It made me incredibly thankful, when I allowed it to settle. Hanging from my door lately is a leather cross made by Coptic Christians in Egypt, given to me by a friend back in college. It reminds me each day as I walk into my office – how thankful I can be to have a place where my life and work is not threatened each day simply because of Jesus. It causes me to pause and pray for those for whom “safety” means something so far away and unknown.
I’m thankful my daughter (now) doesn’t have to worry about daddy being hurt or killed by “the mean people” who don’t know about the Love of God. But there are children globally who aren’t free from that worry. May we lift up our brothers and sisters in prayer even now, and live lives that strive to not take for granted the freedom we have to proclaim the love & peace of Jesus in the unique ways we’re given…