In the quiet stillness of the sunlit room, alone, I sat listening as the breeze rattled the last leaves on the trees. Tucked away in my bright, sunny, secluded room, I came to think and reflect. In the tranquil atmosphere, I could not help but pause and ponder the text I had just read.
Trying to picture myself in the cell of this man, I searched for something deep inside of me that would enable me to endure fourteen years of imprisonment under the Communists. How long would I be willing to suffer for Christ? My spirit was overwhelmed with the account of horrendous tortures, horrific abuse, and anguishing pain. But there was something much deeper and greater that my soul felt.
There was something beautiful.
Amidst the persecution, there was love. Through the loss, there was unfading hope. In the midst of suffering, there was self-sacrifice. This story about a man who suffered for Christ, who prayed for his torturers, and who never ceased praised God that he was counted worthy to suffer—this life radiated with a beauty beyond anything any earthly eye could behold. The courage, the faithfulness, the unconditional love; this is a beauty the world is not worthy of knowing.
There is something overwhelming beautiful about self-sacrifice and loss for something, someone greater. It doesn't make sense to earthly logic, but it is transcendentally beautiful.
exultation through humility
strength through weakness
freedom through serving
gaining through losing
living through dying
Perhaps true beauty is a paradox, like many other aspects of the Christian life. So, in the quiet stillness of that windowed room, I prayed that my life might be a beautiful paradox, too.
The book referenced to is Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand.