Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Book Report

Sabina Wurmbrand and her husband Pastor Richard Wurmbrand survived World War II and the Nazis only to be imprisoned under communism when Romania fell. Sabina's book: THE PASTOR'S WIFE is an awesome story of how she endured years of prison, separation from her husband and son, and the torture she endured in prison after prison.

As the back jacket states: "In 1949, when Soviet propaganda was asserting that free Christian worship was being tolerated behind the Iron Curtain, the Communists arrested Pastor Richard Wurmrand in Rumania for secret Christian activities. THE PASTOR'S WIFE is Sabina Wurmbrand's true story of her efforts to get her husband released, her subsequent imprisonment, and above all, her unceasing efforts to help build a Christian underground church in restricted areas around the world. For the truth is that the Communists to this day cannot tolerate genuine Christianity, and are still excuting or imprisoning underground Christians."

Even after she was released from prison, her husband's torturers tried to get her to sign a petition of divorce so as to break her husband's spirit. She refused. And knew by this that he was alive.

The most interesting page to me was page 175 where she talks about how she coped with the years of torture, separation from her husband, wondering about her son (age five when she was thrown in prison):

"Little by little, Mihai got me to talk. When he learnt how we'd been beaten, or forced to eat grass to stay alive, he asked: How could you bear all this without giving way and denying Christ? I answered by telling him a peculiarity in the Hebrew language. In Hebrew, amazingly some future events are descried in the perfect tense. Now the perfect tense is so called because it refers to actions completed, perfected, at the time of speaking. So, in the great 53rd chapter of Isaiah which foretells of the coming of the Messiah and His sufferings, the writer speaks of these events as belonging to the past, not the future. Yet the words were written 800 years before the coming of Christ. When Jesus read the prediction of His heavy sufferings, they had already begun. He was then rejected and despised of men. It was His present, and His future. But He read of them in Hebrew as if they's happened in the past. Now that is exactly how I felt in the midst of suffering, I tried to explain: Joy is the everlasting present of the Christian spirit. I was in a heavenly place from which no one could move me. Where was the affliction through which I passed? To that most inviolable part of my mind, it belonged to the past. I lived the suffering long ago, while the present reality was delight in the closeness of the Lord. This certainty that it had already happened saved me. Catastrophes come to us all, but once they're over, they're done with. That is taught in this oddity of Hebrew. We experience now past dramas. Years later, I discussed this with Richard. In solitary confinement he said, he had felt the same thing in exactly the same way..."

1 comment:

Bob said...

"For the joy that was set before Him..." (Lucky me, it's the Joyce that's set before me.)