Showing posts with label punishment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label punishment. Show all posts

Monday, 10 August 2015

Music in the Dungeon

I don’t suppose it would be very much fun being  locked up in a dungeon, would you? As a matter of fact I can’t think of one thing pleasant about it. Just listening to the background noises would be quite disturbing to say the least. Hear all that screaming? Without a doubt someone is getting a beating with far more stripes than most crimes could ever warrant. Then of course there is the bitter quarreling, curses and terrible groans of agony…and the mean, nasty, long teethed rats…

                Enough for the sounds: what about the smells? Maybe we shouldn’t even go there, it reeks like, like  an old fashioned outhouse . Enough said, right, because there are people living in that filth.

                There’s plenty of prisoners confined tonight in those dreadful quarters and it is pitch dark. No one can see their hand, even if they put it right in front of their face. That is enough miseries right? But things are about to get worse. The whole stone building begins to tremble and shake, and this is in the black of night, mind you. All other sounds are drowned out by the blood curdling screams of a hundred captives.

When the ruckus dies down a bit, the strangest sound can be heard. It is of singing. Singing? In a dungeon? In the dark of night? During an earthquake? Yes, and it was as soothing as a canary’s melody in a coal mine.

Who are those singing under such dire circumstances? It is Paul and Silas., not that you can see them, mind you, but they are the two confined by stocks.

I also am confined against my will. It is the prison of my flesh which urges me to do things I really shouldn’t, and makes it difficult to soar like an eagle to heights of power and victory in Jesus like I long to. Someday my chains also will be loosened and so, meanwhile I can sing in prison!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Oops! Wrong Food!

What do little boys do when they’re hungry? Why, find food, of course! And that’s what “Billy’ did to. Only problem is, he looked in the wrong place, and it got him into a lot more trouble than he had bargained for. Church was over, but all the Mommy’s and Daddy’s were attending some sort of a council meeting afterwards, and the little folks weren't allowed to be with them. Well, as time went on Billy and his friends were getting more and more hungry so they started looking around and they found something to eat! No, it wasn’t pop and potato chips, but it would do in a pinch! There was lots of fresh, yummy bread,( or something!) and what’s this drink? They weren't sure what to make of it, but drank (lots) anyways.  
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I will leave it to your imagination just how impressed those grownups were when they discovered those sadly intoxicated youngsters, and they were punished severely.

Linda also associated church with severe disapproval and punishment. This was a place where the ‘sisters’ were always glaring at the small fry as they filed timidly in, and Linda was sure she was guilty of some unnamed sin. On top of that they had to stare at that image of a Dead Man all the time. What good was a dead god? As time went on Linda began to think he wasn’t much good for anything and she began to despise—well, at least challenge him. Hey, if you were slammed with as much abuse from the effects of alcoholism, are you sure you wouldn't have reacted the same way?
As time went on life got worst instead of better, and eventually she got married, BUT her husband got cancer, and her mother-in-law was also dying. She had planned on a nursing career but ended up devoting her time and talents to elderly relatives when they were nearing their end.  Stress! (Remember to pile that on top of the other stuff I told you about.)

Well time went on, and one day a man came in to their house. I think he was a Bed and Breakfast guest, but I am not sure. He went into the living room and started walking around. That made Linda furious because she sensed he was praying for her. She must have loudly proclaimed her opinion of God which is why he had responded that way.
Okay, tightly close the curtain on that scene, and come a little closer. Do you see that halo of light around the praying woman? Do you see the radiance; the sheer joy in her face? Do you know what happened?  Do you? When she came to Jesus, repenting, she was touched by the hand of God. She was cleansed, forgiven, healed. Linda knew what it was like to feel so defiled by the unspeakable misuse of others that she would scrub herself until her skin bled, but now she felt so clean, so PURE! Never again did she feel the need to scrub her skin raw. A bath became a pleasure like it is meant to be. With rapture she clung to that feeling of purity that the loving Father gave her. Now Linda serves a risen Saviour; one that set her free and gives her victory. Do you serve Him, to?
P.S. It thrills me each time I hear a story about someone who has found the Light especially if they haven't even known loving, praying Christians.   Maybe you have a story to share. I would love to hear it!  Maybe you also have gotten a glimpse of that lovely, beckoning light. Follow it. Please do.
 "It is no secret what God can do, what He's done for others He'll do for you." A song I heard somewhere. 


Thursday, 29 August 2013

If You Have a heart This Letter Should Break It

If you have a heart, this letter should break it. If you have eyes, it should cause them to weep. I am about to share with you the text of a final letter from a dying Christian prisoner to his mother.

So important were its contents that he refused to post it for fear the censors would tear it up. Instead he entrusted it to a fellow prisoner who had four more years to serve. But after four years, he was not released. He memorized it and passed it on to a friendly guard, who told a soldier friend who was on his way to Tibet. The friend told his mother, who telephoned the prisoner’s mother with the text of the letter—five years after it was written, and three years after his death!

Oh, my mother, dear mother!

I have not been a good son! I have brought disgrace upon you and all the family. I hope you can forgive me. I am dying.

You brought me up to be a good boy. You gave me food, love and affection. And what did I do to repay you? I daubed an antigovernment slogan on the wall and got life imprisonment. Life imprisonment when my life was only eighteen years old. You raised me for more than this. I am sorry.

And now your son is 31. He will not live past 33. I have cancer of the intestines, and my jailers will not pay for the operation. Instead of working underground in the mine, I mind a tiny storage shed full of rusty tins and tools. I retch all day. No one comes near.

But at least I can look over the desert and watch the shifting of the sands. For eight years I never saw the sunlight. I was taken from the barracks through a tunnel to the mine. A room, a corridor, and a shaft were all the worlds I had. Now my world is bigger but it is coming to an end. There is no hope.

And so I have sat on my stool and thought for many hours. I cried many tears, mostly for the things I never did. I never kissed a woman. I never owned even a toothbrush. Never received a pay check never ate a gourmet meal, never built a kite for an excited child. Above all, I never said how much I owed you and never said how sorry I am to grieve you—until now. Boys were not made to bring their mothers such sorrow; otherwise no one would have them.

I have come to two conclusions: One is that this is not the only world there is. I cannot believe I went through the miracle of birth to live a life like this, I believe there is another world where there is a table I can choose to sit at, sip the finest wines, eat to my heart’s content, make friends with whomever I like, speak without fear, and not be marched away when the half-hour gong is sounded.

And I also believe there is someone there—who is also here—who sits at the head of that table. A fellow prisoner told me of one who said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” I do not know what that really means. All I can say is when I heard the words, I felt a relief, that my death was not the end, and my life was not in vain.

My dying charge to you, my mother, is find out who spoke those words, so that we may dine together with Him. Your poor son.