I remember the day I stopped running.
I was 7 years old, and the family next door had a pack of boys. To me, they were something like terrorists.
One of the brothers in particular, Danny, made it his daily mission to torment me. I remember vividly the day he was chasing me with a handful of sandburs he intended to throw on my exposed back.
I ran like crazy, of course. Just like always. Until I stopped.
In that moment something clicked inside my soul. I remember thinking, “That’s enough. I’m not running one more step from this bully.”
Sliding to a stop in my dusty Converse high-tops, I turned to face my adversary. Come what may.
Sometimes we allow bullies into our thoughts and imaginations. We assume we are being disrespected or “pushed around” when we are just being overly sensitive.
But there are real bullies, like Danny. Bullies with skin on who make it their aim to hurt, humiliate and humble us. In those moments, the concept of bullies becomes a painful, personal reality.
At this moment, I am very concerned with the increase of intimidation tactics, oppressive policies and outright dangerous harm of Christian believers around the world — sometimes resulting in prison or death.
For them, persecution is no vague or elusive concept. These are real people serving Jesus and his mission in places like Cuba, Egypt, India, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam and Pakistan.