This is a guest post from Michael Georgy, a 22 year old Canadian student, living and studying in abroad Ireland. In today's post, Michael shares a stirring reflection he wrote after the April 9 church bombings in Egypt - where 45 innocent people were killed while worshiping on a Sunday. If you too are interested in guest posting, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
I sat their on the church stairs, barely able to take a breath. The ringing in my ears, the dust in the air, the people running back and forth, in panic. I look around me and I see body after body, full of blood, carried and rushed out the church doors.
In the background I can hear the screaming and with each tear a mother cries and falls to the ground, the earth beneath me rattles. Each hug a father gives to their dying child, I feel their arms around me holding me close. Every sibling that holds their loved ones hands for the last time, trying to tell them it’s going to be okay; I feel their fingers in-between mine.
I slowly regained my senses and my emotions come rushing in and I can do nothing but cry. Tear after tear they come, and I can’t hold back the emotions. A man comes and sits beside me. I look and He is the most beautiful looking person I have ever seen. I feel a sense of peace in the middle of the madness, and I can’t take my eyes of this man.
He put his arms around me and asked, “Child why do you cry?”
I cried to him saying, “It hurts so much, every time we want to celebrate our love to Christ, something like this happens – people die in the most brutal of ways, and there is nothing we can do about it. I am hopeless.”
“Son, these martyrs are happy now more than ever. We are called to be Holy – and Holy they are. They were called to carry their cross, and so they did. They loved the Lord our God in a way that is beyond what any man can do. They gave up their lives for God. There is no greater love than this.” I cried to him asking, “But why is it always us? What did we ever do to any of them?”
The man smiled and said, “Because they are His children.”
“Wouldn’t you die for your own father if the opportunity came across?” I replied, “Of course!”
“Why?” asked the man.
“That is my father! I love him so much sir I would give up my own life for him” I replied.
“Even if your death was going to be as brutal and heart breaking to those around you as this?” the man asked.
“Of course sir, my father has given up so much for me throughout the years, more than I can ever imagine. He would do the same for me, and it would be my honour to die for his sake.”
The man then asked me, “How about for God, would you die for Him?”
I was shocked by the question. I looked up and the man looked different. His clothes are all torn; slashed into the thinnest of strips; barely holding itself together. His body is hurt, whipped and beaten. Blood is gushing out of every inch of his body yet his eyes are so loving and warm.
He looks to me and asks, “Son, would you die for Me?”
I hugged Christ and replied with all the happiness that filled my heart, “Of course Father, I would be honoured to die for your Name’s sake.”
With those words I see the clouds fill my vision and there are beautiful voices of angels praising God. The words, "Holy, Holy, Holy" echo in a strong and chilling sound. The saints, all of them are around me. I look beneath me and I see my body; my mother crying over me, my father is hugging me, my siblings are holding my hands telling me not to go and that I will be alright.
I look around and I see that I am accompanied by others wearing all white; we are taken to a place so beautiful; it is indescribable! A great joy is sensed in everything I see, everyone I meet, everything I touch. The trumpets are blown and then we see God in all His glory, and He places on our heads beautiful crowns and takes us into His loving arms.
Together all those with the crowns sang with a loud voice:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8