Afraid?

I reading about the life of John and Betty Stam. In the book there is a part that recalls a poem written by a missionary after his colleague had been martyred. The poem, entitled, “Afraid?” puts into perspective the right mindset that we as Christians should have in the Lord’s service.

O’, if modern-day missionaries in China could grasp the heartbeat of this poem, then we would see God do even greater things in this land. Missionaries of old, who were under threat of actually loosing their lives, and many did lose their live, for the sake of the gospel were able to boldly go forward preaching the gospel. In modern-day China we are most likely only to lose our visa, be fined, or banned from entering for five years.

Modern missionary, read the biographies of the great men and women of faith who came to this land before us and read of their great faith. How far we have fallen. Restore us o’ God! To God be the glory.

The poem, entitled ‘Afraid?’ was written by Presbyterian missionary E. H. Hamilton following the recent martyrdom of one of his colleagues, J. W. Vinson, at the hands of rebel soldiers in northern China. A small Chinese girl who escaped from the bandits related the incident that provided the inspiration for Hamilton’s poem.

‘Are you afraid?’ the bandits asked Vinson as they menacingly waved a gun in front of him. ‘No,’ he replied with complete assurance. ‘If you shoot, I go straight to heaven.’ His decapitated body was found later.

Afraid? Of What?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid – of that?

Afraid? Of What?
Afraid to see the Savior’s face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace
The glory gleam from wounds of grace?
Afraid – of that?

Afraid? Of What?
A flash, a crash, a pierced heart;
Darkness, light, O Heaven’s art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid – of that?

Afraid? Of What?
To do by death what life could not –
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid – of that? [1]

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