This is an account from the “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs”:
Ann Audebert, was an apothecary’s wife and widow, martyred at Orleans, A.D. 1549. She, going to Geneva, was taken and brought to Paris, and by the council there adjudged to be burned at Orleans. When the rope was put about her, she called it her wedding-girdle wherewith she should be married to Christ; and as she should be burned upon a Saturday, upon Michaelmas-even; “Upon a Saturday,” said she, “I was first married, and upon a Saturday I shall be married again.” And seeing the dung-cart brought, wherein she should be carried, she rejoiced thereat, showing such constancy in her martyrdom as made all the beholders to marvel.
And I gripe about bills, diapers, summer humidity and reruns.
In the world of fast food meals and instant gratification it seems the greatest scourge on our society is personal boredom. Our modern cultural Christian idea of persecution is a “Happy Holidays” ad campaign during Christmastime. But the early church rejecters of Roman paganism and dark age dissenters of Roman Catholicism knew persecution to be a violent bloody affair; just like the cross they confessed with steel resolve. If you look for them in history, there is a staggering host of saints baptized in the sufferings of Jesus. The simplicity and power of the gospel overtook them and made body and goods a light thing to behold.
There are even a staggering number of saints being persecuted unto death across this world right now as you read this. Do we really think a high self esteem sustains them and their families? A hope of coats and boats? Dogmatic moral platitudes? No, they are people who would say with Paul: I exalt alone in the “cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14) The trinkets of the fallen world system no longer fascinate them, rather it is all dead to them. To serve the One worthy Master they had to divorce themselves from all lesser lovers.
May we be like a widow married to a burning stake. And may the eternal hope of the Lamb’s blessed wedding banquet also be our food and drink. Not the fame, fun, fortune, food or drink that will soon perish.