Recently I read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Wow. The atrocities and torture that thousands have endured for the cross is humbling. To think that somehow the largest sacrifice I have to make on a daily basis is laying down my pride just seems petty. Anyhow, in reading other articles about martyrs, I ran across a portion of “Prayers of the Martyrs,” which is equally humbling.
The story was of a child that was taken to Ravensbruck (a German concentration camp for women). In this camp, approximately 92,000 of the 132,000 women there died from gas chambers, malnourishment, sickness, and other violent acts. I cannot conceive of what it must have been like there, but despite all of these conditions, this humbling prayer was found written on a paper in the coat of a dead girl:
“O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But, do not remember all of the suffering they have inflicted upon us; Instead remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering — our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble. When our persecutors come to be judged by you, let all of these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.”
Oh that I could learn to forgive others for the offenses that seem petty in light of this suffering.