On Heroes (Hebrews Narratives)

“By faith… others experienced mockings and scourgings…”

I once met a man who was hog-tied and hung from a tree.  His elders dipped him in the river and beat him with a cane.  They demanded that he recant, and if he didn’t they’d tie a millstone to his feet, baptize him once and for all.  He held to his confession so the accusers left him for dead, left him as easy pickings for the hyenas.  If you ask him his story, he’ll tell you of faithfulness.  Faith is a river, he’ll say.

“…yes, also chains and imprisonment…”

He was a long-haired hippy, a child of the earth with a clear understanding of redemption theology.  He smuggled bibles into the eastern block back before the wall came tumbling down.  He was arrested, threatened under a heat lamp, burned with cigarette butts.  His wife, a twenty year old  peace-child, believed herself to be widowed on more than one occasion.  If you ask them their story, they’ll tell you of white-hot faithfulness.

“…They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword…”

By now, we’ve all seen the video footage.  Bearded man.  Boot knife or scimitar. Kneeling believer commanded to recant.  Heads roll.  You know that story.  Faith runs red, like spilled blood.

There is a quieter type of belief, one not splashed across the pages of books or websites.  It’s accused, beaten, jailed, and ultimately put to the sword.  There are workers in these fields who can’t blog, tweet, or update statuses for security reasons, but they hang in the war zones, living out lives of relative obscurity.

They are my heroes.

**All quotes taken from Hebrews 11:32-39

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16 Responses to On Heroes (Hebrews Narratives)

  1. HopeUnbroken says:

    thank you for sharing their voice.
    steph

  2. To say this post was “good”, feels to me like it would cheapen it. So I’m just going to Selah.

  3. Matt Shedd says:

    Amen. Let it be that my heart will fill like theirs with this Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.

  4. Kaitlin says:

    Oh, brother. I know those people, and I love love love them dearly. They are my heroes, for more reasons than one. Thank you for placing them into the light.

    We really, really love you guys.

  5. Georgi says:

    Thank you for the reminder of who the real heroes are in this world.

  6. Oh, to have such faith. Thank you for these small mirrors of light and hope.

    • sethhaines says:

      I’m glad you count them as mirrors of light and hope. Many run from these stories, see them as darkness and evil.

      You have good perspective, Diana. Thanks for sharing that.

  7. Courtney Nelson says:

    once again Seth, my heart is heavy but leaning into Him who is faithful.

  8. tonia says:

    Your comment at my space about the pastoralists…it haunts me. I’d like to take a deep breath but the grief.

    I am eternally grateful for the fellowship of others who hear and look and see and need to know how to stand with. Thank you.

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