This morning we were doing our worship around the breakfast table and have come to the 7th chapter of Acts. Stephen, a newly appointed deacon, is preaching to the religious crowd. He recounts the old testament seeing through the lens of God's mercy and judgment. He then pronounces the truth of where the religious leaders, chief priests and people stand.
Stiff-necked. Uncircumcised. Resisters of the Holy Spirit. Persecutors like your fathers.
Grinding their teeth, stopping their ears, screaming; they rushed at him. Picking up stones they began stoning him.
His response as he was dying?
"Father, do not hold this against them."
This has cut to the core of my own heart. As I was relating this all to my children, my littlest one said, "Mommy, he should of asked them to 'Please, don't do that'."
I looked at her knowing she was relating information that we have used in conflict resolution. But deep down, I think she was cut to the quick too. She wanted them to stop.
God's story is amazing, for He used this to further the kingdom of His dear Son. She has a hard time grasping this, but I pray one day all my children's faith will be as strong.
One day, very soon, they may need to stand up in the same way.