Thoughts from Allyson.
Tonight I am struck with the sweet refreshment that our community in Christ brings. The Lord has blessed us with the Body of Christ and I am so thankful for the church. I have been extremely blessed by my community the past few months. I have also been struck by the HUGE community we have in the Church. Not only all those around the world, but the ones that have gone before us. If you have never read about church history you should know that we have a community that is deep. We have a cloud of witnesses, that are still witnessing to my heart even now.
Recently I read, 131 Christians Everyone Should Know. In this book I met an incredible sister named Perpetua, who was one of the first martyrs in the church. Since reading her story, she has consistently been on my mind and I want everyone to read her story. Everyone should know this woman, go read it. If you are crazy busy or don’t like to read, don’t worry it’s only 2 pages long. She will grip your heart. I was so gripped I went and read more about her.
Perpetua was a martyr in the 3rd century early church. She was killed in the arena, yet even with wild animals attacking she was serving others. The account says that after she was run over by a wild boar she got up to go help her servant. In prison she was nursing her son and trying to comfort her father. At her trial, her father was pleading with her to denounce Christ for the sake of her infant son but she would not. She stood firm in Christ. She stood looking at her infant son knowing what this meant and was faithful. This sweet sister stood in the midst of incredible trial and gave her life for the Lord.
I have been nursing my son and thinking “Lord, if I were in that place would I have the grace to trust you, to trust that you will save my son, trust that those I love would hear the truth of Your grace, to trust in the midst of horrible fear?” The list could go on and on. Yet in the midst of questioning and doubting my heart in this, I can imagine looking into the face of this Kindred Spirit, my sister Perpetua, and seeing a smile. I can hear her saying, “He is trustworthy. He is worthy. Rest in Him, we stand with you.” Suddenly this “cloud of witnesses” became sweet family and brought new grace and blessing. Praise the Lord for historians and books that bring this community to us.