I’m sick today. So I did what I typically do when I’m sick, I called my employer, let them know that I wasn’t feeling well and that I wouldn’t be in today. This happens from time to time. But as I was praying earlier this morning the pastor who has been recently imprisoned in Iran came to mind. I prayed for him. He needs it. He along with all of the other believers, and those who are not believers, who are senselessly suffering injustice in places around the world. I’ve read about Iran’s Evin Prison, and I am quite certain that this pastor, and the others in that wretched place, are not at rest. Beatings, psychological torture, and gross violations of basic human rights are par for the course in Evin. You can read an article, as well as link to a video, about the situation here if you are unfamiliar: Saeed Abedini Story
I was reminded again of the verse in Hebrews that always comes to mind when I pray for these courageous men and women around the world:
Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
I was humbled this morning by just how much Saeed Abedini would love to trade places with me today. What wouldn’t he give for a sick day? It’s true that I don’t feel well, and I hope to be better soon, but here in my home I am able to rest, recuperate, and then try again tomorrow. Unless something miraculous happens, Pastor Saeed Abedini will not get any sick days. He will not be allowed to “call in” to his tormentors because he needs a day to rest.
So I prayed, and I continue to pray that God would comfort him in a very direct way. That the mercy and love of our Savior would not only bring him courage, but that the grace Abedini has experienced would touch the hardened hearts of his oppressors. I wonder if you would pray with me today for him and the thousands of others just like him around the world who have given all they have for the sake of the high calling of Christ.
I’m almost certain that I’ve quoted it before, but I leave you with a couple of excerpts from Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech which you can read in it’s entirety here: Elie Wiesel Acceptance Speech
…I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.
Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.
– Elie Wiesel