I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. (Rev. 6:9)
Teddy was always curious and inquisitive. Somewhere around third grade, my classmate made himself the subject of an experiment. As the other students clambered outside at recess, Teddy hid inside his locker to see who would notice. Twenty-two minutes later, the laughter and delight of playful children quieted quickly when the bell rang. We lined up, filed in, and removed our jackets. Out popped Teddy. He had stayed in his locker the entire recess. We had forgotten him!
Open Doors International prominently displays these sobering words on its website: “340 million people suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith.” Mathematicians claim that incredibly large numbers create mental black holes. I know that 340 million doesn’t truly burrow into my brain. Along with a mental hole, we also develop holes in our heart. We not only miss large numbers, we forget specific persons. Directly above the stunning statistic, Open Doors International challenges us to remember: “Not Alone. Not Forgotten. Not Ever.”
Revelation is a book of martyrs for martyrs. Not only does it change the perspective of those suffering for their faith, but it keeps the persecuted church before its readers. Just like Teddy was forgotten for that brief time, so can we forget those quieted for their faith. Today, let us remember the lives of so many that are harassed, hindered, and killed for their faith.
Like Christ, never forget the lives of the faithful.
Aaron Perry is married to Heather, and they have four children. He teaches at Wesley Seminary in Marion and is active in his local church's children’s ministry.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.