It’s the day before Christmas and this morning I had an arresting and challenging experience! I met “Glory!”
Sharon and I had gone early to the grocery store to do a little last-minute shopping. We started to check out the items we were purchasing, and I noticed the name on the identification badge of the sweet lady who was checking us out. Her badge read… “Glory.” I said to her, “Is that your given name?” And she responded, “Yes it is… like glory to God in the highest!”
I just felt I should ask if she were a believer – a Christian, a Christ follower – so I did. She responded enthusiastically, with a hand upraised, that she was.
She appeared to be from Asian descent, so I asked her what country she was from. She indicated India. I then told her that Sharon and I, through the sale of coffee and mugs when we are speaking at conferences and churches, helped fund a ministry training school in Bihar, India.
Her face darkened and she replied, “Oh, that is a hard and dangerous area of India!” And then she told us the story of her father…
She said, “My father was an ‘on-fire’ for the Lord!” He was in Bihar sharing the gospel and was assaulted by a gang of young men three times. They told him to stop or they would cut him in pieces and throw him into the river.” She said, he told them, “That’s alright – go ahead! If you do I’ll just go to heaven anyway!”
How moved Sharon and I were by our brief conversation with “Glory” on this Christmas Eve! We both left the story broken up, our eyes filled with tears – almost unable to speak!
As some of you know, every day, I lift persecuted Christians, their spouses and families to the Lord in prayer! I pray for their protection, their provision, and any need they might have that comes to mind. I pray that they will be strengthened, encouraged, and emboldened by the Holy Spirit. I pray that the Lord will open incredible doors of opportunity for them to share the gospel.
I don’t know if I ever was one who prayed for her father the day he was assaulted or not. Perhaps someone else did though. There was a line behind us at the grocery store and she was very busy checking out people, so I didn’t get to ask more questions. I may go back to the store sometime soon to see if “Glory” is still there.
But may I ask you to do something? Would you pause and pray for persecuted Christians around the world? Many are facing severe persecution today, many are in prison, separated from their families. They face hunger, danger, even death for their faith in Christ. Their spouses need prayer, their children need prayer, the churches they are a part of need prayer! Will you on this Christmas Eve or Christmas Day pause and pray for them?
Just let me say, I’m glad I met “Glory” today!