One Christian in India, while being skinned alive, looked at his persecutors and said,
"I thank you for this. Tear off my old garment, for I will soon put on Christ's garment of righteousness." As he prepared to head to his execution, Christopher Love wrote a note to his wife, saying, Today they will sever me from my physical head, but they cannot sever me from my spiritual head, Christ." As he walked to his death, his wife applauded while he sang of glory.
As he walked to his death, his wife applauded while he sang of glory.
The first time I read these words I cried. This kind of love is elusive to my paltry emotions. A love that applauds death, applauds detachment from the things of this world, even when those things are dearly loved themselves. How great a love for Jesus to applaud His glory, and her husband's soon union with his Maker. I cannot fathom, but I wish I could. My heart twinges as I read of this, and the faintest idea I have of it is enough to make me yearn.
I pray fervently that I, that we, could love nothing so much that we could not lay it on the altar for the glory of God, if asked. I would hazard to say that I pray that none of us would have to act out our sacrificial love, but now I wonder at that mindset. What great joy may be found in laying down that which we had thought so wonderful! I do not know now, but I pray that I would know this joy.
St. Augustine writes a similar sentiment in his Confessions:
How sweet did it suddenly become to me to be without the sweetness of trifles! And it was now a joy to put away what I formerly feared to lose. For thou didst cast them away from me, O true and highest Sweetness. Thou didst cast them away, and in their place thou didst enter in thyself--sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood; brighter than all light, but more veiled than all mystery; more exalted than all honor, though not to them that are exalted in their own eyes. Now was my soul free from the gnawing cares of seeking and getting, of wallowing in the mire and scratching the itch of lust. And I prattled like a child to thee, O Lord my God--my light, my riches, and my salvation.
Whatever it takes, I want to know this sweet joy. To know the joy that Christopher Love's wife experienced as she applauded his martyrdom. I want my life to be nothing, to have nothing, and to mean nothing without the sweet joy of my Savior and my abandonment to Him.