The Cry Of The Blood
The tom-toms thumped straight on all night, and the darkness shuddered round me like a living, feeling thing. I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw, as it seemed, this:
That I stood on a grassy patch, and at my feet a ravine broke straight down into infinite space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.
Then I saw forms of people moving toward the edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another little child holding on to her dress. She was on the very edge. She lifted her foot for the next step… Then, to my horror, I saw that she was blind. Before I could say anything she was over, and the children with her. Their cries pierced the air as they fell into the inky blackness of the ravine!
Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; all walked straight toward the edge. There were shrieks as they suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air. But some went over quietly, and fell without a sound.
Then I wondered, with a wonder that was sheer agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I could not. I was glued to the ground, and I couldn’t even yell; though I strained and tried, only a whisper would come out.
Then I saw that along the edge there were sentries set at intervals.
But the intervals were too large; there were wide, unguarded gaps between. And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood-red to me, and the ravine yawned like the mouth of hell.
Then I saw, like a little picture of peace, a group of people under some trees with their backs turned towards the ravine. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them and they thought it was a rather crude noise. And if one of their group started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down. “Why should you get so excited about it? You must wait for a definite call to go! You haven’t finished your daisy chain yet. It would be really selfish,” they said, “to leave us to finish the work alone.”There was another group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get more sentries out; but they found that very few wanted to go, and sometimes there were no sentries for miles and miles along the edge.
Once a girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back; but her mother and other relations called, and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the rules. And being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest for awhile; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls. Once a child grabbed at a tuft of grass that grew at the very edge of the ravine; it clung convulsively, and it called – but nobody seemed to hear. Then the roots of the grass gave way, and with a cry the child went over, its two little hands still holding tight to the torn-off bunch of grass. And the girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which her friends reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere; “The gap would be well taken care of!”, they said. And then they sang a hymn.
Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, one sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon me, for I knew that it was “The Cry of the Blood”.
Then a voice thundered. It was the voice of the Lord, and He said, “What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.”
The tom-toms still beat heavily, the darkness still shuddered and shivered about me; I heard the yells of the devil-dancers and weird, wild shrieks of the devil-possessed just outside the gate.
What does it matter, after all? It has gone on for years; it will go on for years. Why make such a fuss about it? God forgive us!
God arouse us! Shame us out of our callousness! Shame us out of our sin!
1 John 3:17 Paraphrased by Amy Carmichael
“But whoso hath the gospel of Jesus Christ, and seeth the heathen lost and dying in their sin, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Christmas season has always been an interesting time of year for me. One of the two most special times of year for many. An interesting time to watch people as they go Christmas shopping. The warm feeling you get as you gather together with family. And the celebrating of Christ’s birth and all that He has done for us. Sometimes Christmas is the only time people will step foot in a church besides Easter.
I don’t think I’ve ever understood why people would make a point to go to church on Christmas, but then every other Sunday of the year, they just keep going on with their lives. Almost like God is a toy that should only be taken out of the box on very special occasions. For me, God is the like the velveteen rabbit. He is my very favorite, and I want to never part with Him. Although unlike the velveteen rabbit, because of what Jesus did on the cross, I never do have to part with Him!
Not only has He radically transformed my life, but He has forgiven me, He gave me a manual for life so that I never have to question what to do, He promises never to leave nor forsake me, He gave me a life that will last for all eternity, He has healed me, and much more.
But then there is the vast amount of people that don’t even know what Christmas is. They don’t know about this Jesus that put on human flesh to be born of a virgin almost 2000 years ago. They don’t know of the hope that He provides so that they never have to worry about anything ever again. For some, they will never know. Why? Because no one has ever told them.
We are in a battle, brothers and sisters. Now is not the time to be caught up in the materialism that is our culture. We need to stand in the gap for the many thousands who have never heard of Jesus’ name; who don’t know what Christmas is and the reason behind why we celebrate it. What better time of year do we have the opportunity to give someone the hope of Jesus for Christmas?
For example, Gospel for Asia has a Christmas Catalog, why not buy something from there to bless someone over in Asia with the hope that’s found in Jesus? Let them experience the CHRISTmas for the first time in their lives. How amazing would that be?
Or, taking a step closer to home, why not bless those around us that are less fortunate? I know that there are many homeless people in Philly, why not invite them over for Christmas dinner, or go visit them and share with them the love of Jesus?
Thanks for standing in the gap with me for the lost in Asia! I know that together we are making an eternal difference.
Over the past few years I have developed a love for the traditional Christmas song, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” We sang it at church last Sunday, as it’s very fitting for the first week of advent.
For 400 hundred years prior to Christ’s birth, God had been silent. The nation of Israel was in exile and they were desperately waiting for the prophecies about their Messiah coming to save them to come to fruition.
The words of this well known song portray a very different spirit than we tend to think about during this merry Christmas season:
“O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.”
To the Israelites, this is what the time leading up to Christ’s birth was about—waiting for the Messiah to ransom them.
How fitting for us today to think about our lives prior to Christ. Without Him, we too are burdened with sin, captive to this world’s pains, and in need of someone to ransom us. Praise the Lord we have Jesus Christ, who came on Christmas Day—the Son of God, God incarnate. He humbled Himself and became one of us lowly human beings, only to die a horrible form of death with all of our sins upon Him and forsaken by the Father. Yet willingly He did it—for us. Praise God! We can sing this song knowing the end! We have been ransomed!
Yet 2 billion people on the other side of this planet are still waiting for Emmanuel to come. In fact they don’t even know there is an Emmanuel. They have no prophecies to give them hope, for they have yet to hear about their Creator and their Savior.
It is for their fate without Christ that I serve with Gospel for Asia. Many need to hear about Emmanuel—”God with us”—who is Jesus Christ! My heart yearns to let them hear the Christmas story. My heart aches for them to finally be ransomed.
Rejoice with me this Christmas that Emmanuel has come, and that we know Him! Please also pray with me for those who have yet to hear.
“Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to you, O, Israel!”
Some of you that have been keeping up with this blog from the beginning, might remember the story I told when I got back from Asia about the children in the river? About the urgency of “there is such a thing as too late”?
Well, while I was out support raising, I was a part of a homeless ministry with my church. I really felt like I was a part of that ministry, and I fell in love with the people in Philly that were lost, and knew they were lost, but didn’t want to accept it or accept the hope that Jesus provides.
One of my homeless buddies was named Black. He was about 54-55 years old. And he was determined to believe in the another faith, but was really curious about Christianity because he grew up in the church, but had turned away later on in his life. We talked to him every week and brought him to church almost every week as well. He really enjoyed it and felt like people were loving on him even though they didn’t know him very well. Which was awesome! He was experiencing Jesus’ love through us! He started talking about the possibility of coming to Christ, which made us all really happy. We were finally getting through to him! So we kept encouraging him and encouraging him, week after week. Answering all the questions he had, and loving on him.
Sometime last week, however, Black passed away. My mom just told me of this sad news. It was shocking. To think… I knew this guy, I loved this guy, and I was praying for him every day that he would somehow turn to Jesus as his Lord and Savior. And now he’s gone…
Just like that… he’s gone. One more lost soul plunged into eternity. I can only pray that before he died, he finally accepted the Lord. But really, I don’t know. No one does except the Lord.
Anyway, I’m writing this post as an encouragement to you all, and also as a request. Please pray for the rest of those homeless people, both in Philadelphia, and also in Asia. There are so many people that still have yet to hear! And there’s no telling when they might be gone, forever. We need to reach these people.
And it took one of my friends dying to remind me of that urgency we need to have to reach the lost world.
Some of you might be thinking that this is tragic news, but remember Romans 8:28. EVERYTHING works for the good. Black’s death will be used by God, and is being used to impact many lives. Praise God for that.
Thanks for reading, and I’m so thankful that God has put us in an position where we can reach the lost world each day.
Let’s not forget our callings.
This time of year is a joyous time of remembering how God brought salvation to this earth. It is such a privilege we live in a country where we can know and hear about Jesus, Christmas, and salvation so freely. And that through a foundation of Christian beliefs grace and mercy are still rooted in our culture. But for 3 billion in the world that have never heard of Jesus and His grace, their gods and beliefs have made for a life and view completely different than ours. They worship gods and goddesses in hope of salvation, but even if the salvation offered was true, millions upon millions still live in despair of ever achieving it. Their beliefs are that not all people are equal, and many are deserving of treatment less than cows, dogs and rats. In their mind many are predestined to a wretched life with no hope for mercy or grace, deserving of a life of punishment.
In knowledge of the great hope and joy that comes to our fellow Asian believers, I am overjoyed that Gospel For Asia is supporting Asian Christian brothers and sisters. There is now hope for salvation, healing of families, healing of people physically and spiritually, and filling thousands with joy in finally knowing the most high God, a God of love, that offers love, grace, and mercy.