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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2006, 11:35:53 AM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: John 17:26 John 17:23


Forsaken? Impossible

Twice in my life I have heard Christians claim, in all seriousness, that God had forsaken them. This is an impossibility. Does Christ live in us? He does. The living Christ dwells in the heart of every true believer--He in them and they in Him. There are no words which adequately describe the intimacy of this relationship. Jesus, in his last recorded prayer for those whom the Father had given Him, asked "that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and thou in me...that the love thou hadst for me may be in them, and I may be in them" (Jn 17:23, 26 NEB).

Jesus Christ, in the extremity of his agony on the cross, asked why God had forsaken Him. In becoming sin for us He experienced a terrible alienation from his Father, a sense of total dereliction. God did not and could not forsake the Son who was one with Him. He cannot and will not forsake us who are not only his sons and daughters, but also the dwelling-places of his only begotten Son. "I will never, never, never, never, never (the Greek has five negatives) leave you or forsake you," is his promise. At times we may be overcome with a feeling of helpless forsakenness. This is surely not from the loving Father, but from the father of lies. The best way to answer that "father" is the way Jesus answered when tempted by Satan: "It is written." Take God's own promise with its five negatives and hold on.

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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2006, 04:04:36 AM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: John 17:4


The Glory of God

When God's power is manifested in the world, in his creation, or in his people, God is glorified. When we pray that our lives may glorify Him, we are asking that the self may be put down, for it is not possible to show the power of God and at the same time to glorify what George MacDonald called "the bastard self." We must be prepared to lose ourselves, whatever that may entail, that God may be all in all. Losing an argument for his sake, losing something we held dear, losing "face," reputation, a position of power or superiority, losing a claim on someone or on his affection or respect--can these be a part of the answer to our prayer to glorify God in our lives? Assuredly they can, for assuredly the Son Himself laid aside all such assets when He came to do the will of the Father.

"I have glorified Thee on the earth'' (Jn 17:4 AV), He said--and that glory was manifested through weakness, loss, and suffering. What a privileged position we are called to share.

Lord, lift up our eyes, away from ourselves and our small losses, up to that glory yet to be revealed. Teach us that it is only out of weakness that we are made strong, only as we suffer that we may reign, only as we lose that we may gain.

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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2006, 12:08:24 AM »

Title: Saving Ourselves
Book: A Lamp For My Feet
Author: Elisabeth Elliot


Today I was tempted in a new way (the Tempter has a bag of many tricks) to "save" myself. This time it involved a matter of "face." The Lord reminded me that I should let it go.

We are always trying to save ourselves in one way or another. It is impossible, except on the terms Jesus gave the disciples: let yourself be lost (Mt 16:25 NEB). It was the only way Jesus could save the world, though the people challenged Him to save Himself. "Himself He cannot save"(Mk 15:31 AV) was what they said, uttering an eternal principle far deeper than they had any idea of. It is true for us as well. If we are going to obey the will of the Father, we cannot save ourselves. We must give ourselves up, be lost--then, and only then, will we "find" ourselves.

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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2006, 12:09:56 AM »

Title: Pick Up Your Cross
Book: A Lamp For My Feet
Author: Elisabeth Elliot


Jesus invites us to be his disciples. If we choose to accept his loving invitation, we must understand that there are certain conditions to be fulfilled. One of them is a willingness to accept the cross. Is this a once-for-all taking up of one particular burden? I don't think so. It seems to me that my "cross" is each particular occasion when I am given the chance to "die"--that is, to offer up my own will whenever it crosses Christ's. This happens very often. A disagreement with my husband can cause an argument and harsh words, even if the matter is ridiculously small--"When are you going to get that dashboard light fixed in the car?" I have already mentioned the light three times. It may be time to keep my mouth shut, but I don't want to keep my mouth shut. Here, then, is a chance to die. A decision which affects both of us may be a fairly big one, but we find ourselves on two sides of the fence. One of us, then, must "die." It is never easy for me. Shall I make excuses for myself (that's the way I am; it's my personality; it's the way I was raised; I'm tired; I can't hack it; it doesn't gotcha72; you don't understand)--or shall I pick up this cross?

Perhaps my illustration seems to trivialize the cross of Christ. His was so unimaginably greater. What cross could I possibly take up which would be analogous? Just here is the lesson for me: when Jesus took up his cross, He was saying yes with all his being to the will of the Father. If I am unwilling to say yes in even a very little thing, how shall I accept a more painful thing? What sort of practice does it take for a disciple to learn to follow the Crucified? A friend hurts us, a plan goes awry, an effort fails--small things indeed. But then cancer strikes, a daughter marries unwisely, a business folds, a wife abandons her home and family. The call still comes to us: Take up your cross and come with Me. With You, Lord? Yes, with Me. Will You give me strength and show me the way? That was my promise--is it my custom to break promises?

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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2006, 12:11:15 AM »

Title: Die Quickly
Book: A Lamp For My Feet
Author: Elisabeth Elliot


To hold onto something with a desperate grip is not the way to die. Death is a painful process, and restoratives offered to the dying wretch bound to his wheel only prolong his agony. There are times when the thing to do is simply to die. I am thinking, of course, of dying to the self. We clutch so tenaciously to our rights, hopes, ambitions, something to which God has perhaps said a plain no. If would-be comforters offer us consolation and sympathy, if they assist us to strengthen our grasp when it should be loosened, they do not love us as God loves us. The way into life is death, and if we refuse it we are refusing Him who showed us that way and no other. The love which is strong as death is not only willing to save the beloved, it is willing to seem, if necessary, pitiless, insensitive, unloving, if that is what will help the beloved to die--that is, to be released from the bondage of self, which is death, and thus enter the gateway of life.

Archbishop Fenelon wrote to the countess of Montberon, "You want to die, but to die without any pain.... You must give all or nothing when God asks it. If you have not the courage to give at least let Him take."

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« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2006, 05:05:46 AM »

Title: Man of Dust
Book: A Lamp For My Feet
Author: Elisabeth Elliot


"As we have worn the likeness of the man made of dust, so we shall wear the likeness of the heavenly man" (1 Cor 15:49 NEB).

What a word of hope for us when we are discouraged with our own sinfulness! The old Adam is always there, rising in rebellion against the new life which Christ has given us. There is constant struggle, daily reminders that we are yet very unholy, very un-Christlike, very dusty. But a day will come when even I, with all my glaring faults, will wear the likeness of the heavenly Man. This gives me ammunition to fire at the Accuser. I shall be like Christ--just wait! You'll see!

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« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2006, 05:07:05 AM »

Title: Hidden Work
Book: A Lamp For My Feet
Author: Elisabeth Elliot


Few of us accomplish without delay or interruption what we set out to accomplish. Plans are made, and they fail. We dream dreams, and they are not fulfilled. Even what seem to be soberly realistic schedules are interrupted by unforeseen demands. Often we are tempted to quit our efforts altogether, to take a careless attitude, or to give in to helplessness, despair, and frustration.

When the apostle Paul's itinerant ministry was brought to a standstill by his imprisonment in Rome, he had plenty of human reasons for giving up. He wrote to the Christians at Philippi, who themselves were suffering persecution, reminding them of the humble obedience of Christ. "You too, my friends, must be obedient, as always.... You must work out your own salvation in fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for his own chosen purpose. Do all you have to do without complaint or wrangling" (Phil 2:12-14 NEB).

Imprisonments, persecutions, late planes, an attack of the flu, an uninvited guest, or an unpleasant confrontation--never mind. Be obedient as always! Such a simple directive. So hard to carry out--unless we also remember that we are not by any means alone in our effort. God also is at work in us, always accomplishing what we could not accomplish if left to ourselves: his own chosen purpose.

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« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2006, 05:08:30 AM »

Title: The Fact of the Resurrection
Book: A Lamp For My Feet
Author: Elisabeth Elliot


A metropolitan (bishop) of the Orthodox Church in Russia was faced with an atheist in the congregation who loudly declared, "Today nobody believes in the resurrection of Christ." Instead of answering the claim, the metropolitan cried out, "Chrise is risen!" and the hall, which was supposedly filled with atheists, responded with a roar, "Indeed He is risen!"

This is the proclamation of faith. It is often a waste of time and energy to argue with doubters--including ourselves. If we are assailed with unbelief, let us return to the bedrock of faith: the resurrection, for without this our faith is certainly vain. Let us shout (even alone with our private doubts) Christ is risen! It is a fact. Everything else is trivial by comparison.

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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2006, 12:02:44 PM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: Hebrews 13:20-21
The Path of Lonliness


Death Shall Not Hold Us

The power of the resurrection is a power that vanquishes every other power in heaven or earth. The battle was the bitterest ever fought, but death was the loser, Jesus the Victor. Because "the tomb could not hold Him; snapped like a straw death's omnipotent bars" (Amy Carmichael: Edges of His Ways, p. 192), sin and death and sorrow need not hold us either. The same power is available to us if we will take it by faith.

There are many tombs where we may be held if we succumb to the powers of sin and death. Hatred, self-pity, bitterness, resentment--these are tombs. By the power that raised Jesus Christ from that sealed and guarded tomb we may be delivered from whatever seals us off from life. Jesus came to give us life, nothing less than life, "abundant" life.

Do you know someone you are praying for who is living in the darkness of such a tomb? Has it seemed that there is no more possibility of getting through to him than to someone buried? Resentment has sealed him off from any approach. Pray for the power of the resurrection to release him. Refuse, by the grace of God, to be held back by his bitterness. Then ask the Lord to help you to meet him next time in the consciousness of Christ risen. Instead of dreading the meeting because of the thought of former disastrous meetings, face it with joy. Christ is risen! Christ is risen!

"May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make us perfect in all goodness so that we may do his will; and may he make of us what he would have us be through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen" (Heb 13:20,21 NEB).

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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2006, 06:34:40 AM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:10


We Carry Death and Life

When Jesus lived on earth, He lived in an ordinary man's body, carrying in that body both life and death. His thirty-three years of life were lived that He might die and through death forever destroy the power of death. He doesn't live here anymore. We do. We who believe are his Body, assigned to carry in our bodies the death He died. Paul said it (2 Cor 4:10 NEB). Insofar as we are willing to die, to 'cross out the self,' we carry the death Jesus died. But that isn't all! We carry also the life Jesus lived--the life that brings life to all, that will never end, that mysteriously is at work in the world because we who love Him are in the world.

O Life Eternal, purify this vessel of my body, that it may purely bear the death and life of Jesus for the life of the world.

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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2006, 06:37:47 AM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: Keep A Quiet Heart
Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12 Luke 24:19
The Path of Lonliness


The Ultimate Contradiction - Page 1
By Elisabeth Elliot


Two people were walking along a stony road long ago. They were deep in conversation about everything that had happened. Things could not have been worse, it seemed, and I suppose the road was longer and dustier and stonier than it had ever been to them, though they had traveled it many times. As they trudged along, trying to make sense out of the scuttling of their hopes, a stranger joined them and wanted to know what they were talking about.

"You must be the only stranger in Jerusalem who hasn't heard all the things that have happened here recently!" said one of the two, whose name was Cleopas.

It seemed that the stranger had no idea what things he referred to, so Cleopas explained that there was a man from the village of Nazareth, Jesus by name, who was clearly a prophet, but He had been executed by crucifixion a few days before.

"We were hoping He was the one who was to come and set Israel free."

Things had been bad for Israel for a long time, and those who understood the ancient writings looked for a liberator and a savior. Cleopas and his companion had pinned their hopes on this Nazarene--surely He was the one God had sent, a prophet "strong in what he did and what he said" (Luke 24:19 PHILLIPS). But those hopes had been completely crushed. He had been killed and even His body could not be found. Where were they to turn now?

The story goes on to tell how the stranger explained to them that they had not really understood what the prophets had written, and that this death which had so shattered their faith was inevitable if the Messiah was to "find his glory."

But what a strange phrase--"find his glory." What could it mean? I can imagine the two looking at each other in bewilderment. This shameful death--in order to find his glory!

When they reached their destination the stranger was about to go further but they persuaded him to stay with them. As they sat down to eat he picked up the loaf of bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them. Suddenly they recognized him. Jesus! The two who sat with Him had not been pessimists. They had indeed had hopes. But what puny hopes theirs had been. In their wildest optimism they could not have dreamed of the glory they now saw. A resurrection, the ultimate contradiction to all of the world's woes, had taken place. They saw Jesus with their own eyes. What must their own words have seemed to them if they thought about what they had said: "We were hoping..."? They could not deny that those hopes had died, but what insane dreamer could have imagined the possibility that had become a reality here at their own supper table? Their savior had come back. He had walked with them. He was in their house. He was eating the very bread they had provided.

If resurrection is a fact--and there would be no Easter if it were not--then there is no situation so hopeless, no horizon so black, that God cannot there "find His glory." The truth is that without those ruined hopes, without that death, without the suffering that He called inevitable, the glory itself would be impossible. Why the universe is so arranged we must leave to the One who arranged it, but that it is so we are bound to believe.

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« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2006, 06:40:23 AM »

The Ultimate Contradiction - Page 2
By Elisabeth Elliot


And when we find ourselves most hopeless, the road most taxing, we may also find that it is then that the Risen Christ catches up to us on the way, better than our dreams, beyond all our hopes. For it is He--not His gifts, not His power, not what He can do for us, but He Himself--who comes and makes Himself known to us. And this is the one pure joy for those who sorrow.

And yet... and yet we sorrow. The glorious fact of the resurrection is the very heart of our faith. We believe it. We bank all our hopes on it. And yet we sorrow. It is still appointed unto man once to die, and those who are left must grieve--not as those without hope, for the beloved will be resurrected. The "ultimate contradiction," however, seems very far in the future. There is no incongruity in the human tears and the pure joy of the presence of Christ, for He wept human tears too.

When we learned recently from dear friends that they had lost their baby, this is what I wrote to them (I've been asked to print it here for others who are bereaved):

"Your little note was waiting for us when we returned yesterday from Canada. How our hearts went running to you, weeping with you, wishing we could see your faces and tell you our sympathies. Yet it is 'no strange thing' that has happened to you, as Peter said in his epistle (1 Peter 4:12) it gives you a share in Christ's suffering. To me this is one of the deepest but most comforting of all the mysteries of suffering. Not only does He enter into grief in the fullest understanding, suffer with us and for us, but in the very depths of sorrow He allows us, in His mercy, to enter into His; gives us a share, permits us the high privilege of 'filling up, that which is lacking (Colossians 1:24) in His own. He makes, in other words, something redemptive out of our broken hearts, if those hearts are offered up to Him. We are told that He will never despise a broken heart. It is an acceptable sacrifice when offered wholly to Him for His transfiguration. Oh, there is so much for us to learn here, but it will not be learned in a day or a week. Level after level must be plumbed as we walk with the Shepherd, and He will do His purifying, purging, forging, shaping work in us, that we may be shaped to the image of Christ himself. Such shaping takes a hammer, a chisel, and a file--painful tools, a painful process.

"Your dear tiny Laura is in the Shepherd's arms. She will never have to suffer. She knew only the heaven of the womb (the safest place in all the world--apart from the practice of abortion) and now she knows the perfect heaven of God's presence. I'm sure that your prayer for both your children has been that God would fulfill His purpose in them. It is the highest and best we can ask for our beloved children. He has already answered that prayer for Laura.

"Do you know the Letters of Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661)? He wrote so beautifully to mothers who had lost children. Here is one:

'Grace rooteth not out the affections of a mother, but putteth them on His wheel who maketh all things new, that they may be refined; therefore sorrow for a dead child is allowed to you, though by measure and ounceweights; the redeemed of the Lord have not a dominion or lordship over their sorrow and other affections, to lavish out Christ's goods at their pleasure.... He commandeth you to weep; and that princely One took up to heaven with Him a man's heart to be a compassionate High Priest. The cup ye drink was at the lip of sweet Jesus, and He drank of it.... Ye are not to think it a bad bargain for your beloved daughter that she died--she hath gold for copper and brass, eternity for time. All the knot must be that she died too soon, too young, in the morning of her life; but sovereignty must silence your thoughts. I was in your condition: I had but two children, and both are dead since I came hither. The supreme and absolute Former of all things giveth not an account of any of His matters. The good Husbandman may pluck His roses and gather His lilies at midsummer, and, for ought I dare say, in the beginning of the first summer month; and he may transplant young trees out of the lower ground to the higher, where they may have more of the sun and a more free air, at any season of the year. The goods are His own. The Creator of time and winds did a merciful injury (if I may borrow the word) to nature in landing the passenger so early.'

"Jesus learned obedience by the things which He suffered, not by the things which He enjoyed. In order to fit you both for His purposes both here and in eternity, He has lent you this sorrow. But He bears the heavier end of the Cross laid upon you! Be sure that Lars and I are praying for you, dear friends."

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« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2006, 06:42:58 AM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: Love Has A Price Tag
Scripture:
The Path of Lonliness


To Walk Where Jesus Walked - Page 1
By Elisabeth Elliot


For as long as I can remember I did not want to go to the Holy Land. I suppose the main reason was those monochromatic slides we used to have to look at in Sunday school. My heart would sink when I learned that somebody was going to show pictures of Palestine. All you saw were little square sand-colored houses and sand-colored camels and lots of sand-colored landscapes that were mostly desert and a lot of people dressed in long robes that reminded me of our Sunday school Christmas plays with everybody wearing bathrobes and towels wrapped around their heads. The whole thing of seeing what were called "holy places" and walking today where Jesus walked and visiting ruins failed to find a response in me.

But seven years ago, just after the Six-Day War, I was persuaded to go to Jerusalem, and now I'm going back again. Israel in 1967 was a place of tremendous excitement and tremendous sadness. There were those who had conquered and those who had just been conquered. There was rubble where the wall had divided the Old City from the New, rubble where villages had been demolished and rubble at the Wailing Wall. I do not expect to find everything sorted out and peaceful when I return. Problems persist which seem to have no possible human solution, and I know from correspondence with friends that all is not as we read in the newspapers. But Jerusalem is a city set apart, a city often besieged and often recovered, which holds at its heart certain treasures that its wars and sins have not yet obliterated.

I had not been at all prepared for the impact that Jerusalem had upon me. I was overpowered. It was in this city, inside and outside its walls, that the events took place which altered the whole course of history. The Crucifixion, said Dorothy Sayers, was after all "the only thing that ever really happened." I knew all of this before I went, of course, but I simply was not prepared for what it did to me when I finally actually stood on that ground.

Christian tourists are often put off by the commercialization of the holy places. You go into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to find that it is claimed by four different kinds of Christians who get along so badly that the keys to the church have had to be entrusted, it is said, to a Moslem family. There are guides, licensed and unlicensed, clamoring to show you around. There are priests in varied garb waiting at each sacred site with offering boxes; candles are on sale, and the whole place seems dark, dusty and crowded with the trappings of religion.

I would not have expected to like this scene, but I found myself totally captivated. There was something about the crumbling, discolored stone with Crusader's crosses carved into it, the fragrance of the incense and the dim light of the swinging oil lamps that convinced me here was the place, here was concentrated the attention and the devotion--fierce as it sometimes was--of the ages. Christians of all varieties had converged on this place, crowding into it every possible symbol of their hope and longing as well as the unavoidable evidence of their corruption; and that very corruption added its own weight to the meaning of that cross and that empty sepulchre "for where sin abounded grace did much more abound."

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« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2006, 06:44:39 AM »

To Walk Where Jesus Walked - Page 2
By Elisabeth Elliot


To go to the Garden of Gethsemane, across the Brook Kidron from the Old City, and to know that it was Jesus' custom often to leave the crowded, noisy city and cross that brook and go to where the old olive trees grew on a hillside, was another experience that overwhelmed me. The shape of the city, viewed from that perspective, has not changed very much, I suppose, from the time of Jesus. The shape of the hills surrounding it, the aspect of the valley, the beauty of the olive trees, would be just what Jesus knew. This was the quiet place to which he went when he knew that his hour had come. It was beneath some of these very trees perhaps (for some of them are two thousand years old) that the Son of man struggled with his own fear of death and with the will of the Father.

Over the door of the Basilica of the Agony, which is one name for the church in the Garden, these Latin words are inscribed: SUSTINETE HIC ET VIGILATE MECUM, "Wait here and watch with me." I myself had gone to the Garden several different times during my weeks in Jerusalem and tried to reconstruct the awful scene: Christ in an agony of conflict and suffering, while the three who had been specially chosen to be with their Master at the end were not doing the one thing he had asked them to do--watch--but were sound asleep. When I was there the sun shone on the soft stone of the city walls and on the brilliant bougainvillea that grew nearby. Buses ground up the hill, taxis honked, tourists rushed by taking pictures, and a group of kibbutzniks waving blue and white flags poured out of a bus and passed the Garden without so much as a sideways glance.

It is not our experiences which in the final analysis change us, it is always and only our responses to those experiences. In any of the holy places I could have responded with cynicism, rejection, even outrage. Their mysterious power then would have been lost on me. I found it possible instead to enter in by faith, giving myself in each place to the One who was there before me and who, despite all that worldly-minded humanity had done to those places, was still there if I sought him.

Near one of the olive trees in Gethsemane one of the Darmstadt Sisters of Mary has put up a small plaque: "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt. Thou, O Jesus, in the darkness of night and grief didst utter these words of surrender and trust to God the Father. In gratitude and love I will, in my hours of fear and desolation, say after thee, My Father, I cannot understand what thou art about but in thee do I put my trust."

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« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2006, 03:17:10 AM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: On Asking God Why
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-5
The Path of Lonliness


Hope for a Hopeless Failure - Page 1
by Elisabeth Elliot


Olive trees are not much good for leaning against. Too knobby. I kick away a few stones and sit down on the ground, knees braced in my arms. The other two stand for a while, eyeing the one who has gone off alone.

"Might as well sit down," I say. They don't answer.

Long day. Tired. I look up through the trees. Ragged clouds, thin moon. Enough wind to move the olive leaves. My head's too heavy to hold up. I stare at my old sandals, one of them with a loose thong. Then I notice my feet and remember--at supper-- "altogether clean." Dusty again now, but they were clean, all right. Never had them so clean. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked. Maybe the rest understood. Not me. And what was all that about being slaves?

My two friends sit down a little way off. Can't hear much of the onversation (they're almost whispering). His body. His blood. (Strange things he said to us tonight at the table.) How he longed to eat with us, but would never do it again--until . . . something about a kingdom.

Yawn. Too tired to think now. I push away a few more stones and lie down in the grass. No pillow. Well, my arm will have to do.

What do I hear? Not my friends--they're flat out on the ground now, like me. Some movement. Wind? An animal? No, over there, where he is. A sort of gasp, was it? I strain my ears. Can't tell. Maybe they can, they're nearer, but they don't say anything. Silence now. Never mind. Have a little snooze.

"Asleep, Simon?" I jump. He did ask us to stay awake, now that I think of it. He's standing over us and here we all are, snoring away. Poor show. "Pray that you may be spared the test." Yes, Lord. (Test?)

He goes off again. We sit up, shake ourselves. (It's colder now, my tunic's clammy with dew.) We pray. We can see, from the silhouette over by the rock, that something is very wrong. Wonder if we should do something? But he said stay here.

"You will all fall from your faith.'' We talk about that. What could he mean? All of us? The other two lie down. I sit here, thinking of what he said to me--about Satan, sifting me like wheat. He said he prayed especially for me. My faith fail? I told him I'd even go to prison with him. Die, if it came to that. Judas now--that's another story. Wonder what he's up to? Left the table in an awful hurry. Never did trust him. Shifty-eyed. Slick.

Ah-oh. Must have fallen asleep again. I can sense his presence, standing close, but I'll keep my eyes shut. What can I say? I wait. He says nothing, goes away.

"You awake?" I poke the others. I remember he told me I was to ''lend strength to the brothers." They pull themselves up, and again we talk. He said he was going away. Somewhere where we could not come. Peace . . . Iove . . . the Prince of this world . . . persecution . . . the breakdown of faith. Doesn't sound good.

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