Monday, May 4, 2009


From Tim Challies:

The poem, entitled "Afraid?" was written by Presbyterian missionary E.H. Hamilton following the recent martyrdom of one of his colleagues, J.W. Vinson, at the hands of rebel soldiers in northern China. A small Chinese girl who escaped from the bandits related the incident that provided the inspiration for Hamilton's poem.

"Are you afraid?" the bandits asked Vinson as they menacingly waved a gun in front of him.

"No," he replied with complete assurance. "If you shoot, I go straight to heaven."

His decapitated body was found later.

Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit's glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour's face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash - a crash - a pierced heart;
Brief darkness - Light - O Heaven's art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven's rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not -
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?

~E.H. Hamilton


  1. What a beautiful poem. No, we have no reason to fear, for we have a hope that others do not. How glorious is that!

  2. The only thing I'm afraid of is Mrs. C....

  3. Yogrynch, Mrs. C. would NOT be pleased with your comment. Ya better hide!

  4. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18, NKJV)

    So, Janet, what is your commentary on this verse? If we are fearful does it just mean that we are not "yet perfect?"

    I'm always amazed by martyr stories and how brave they are in the face of death. I pray that I would be faithful, but I worry sometimes that fear would overtake me. Not fear of death, but of...I don't know what. Maybe what would happen BEFORE death.

    I'm the kid who stood at the top of the high dive for 15 minutes while everyone waited impatiently until I finally climbed back down the ladder. LOL Fear of the "who knows what" - that's me!

  5. Stacy, I always remember Corrie Ten Boom's story about fearing what lay ahead. Her wise old father reminded her that when they went on a journey, he didn't give her the ticket until the conductor was there to collect it. In the same way, our Father does not give us the "ticket of grace to endure suffering" until the moment we need it.

    The only perfect love is God's love. And God is in the process of refining us, conforming us to the image of His perfect Son. So, I am not perfect, YET, but in process. If I fear, it's my old sin nature that hasn't yet learned to cast every care on Jesus.

    I would imagine that if I were facing a gun, at that moment God would give me the "ticket", and I would not fear.

    So, Stacy, don't worry about it ahead of time. Trust the Lord - He'll give you what you need, when you need it.


  6. There isn't alot I can add to your thoughts above about worry, Janet, except the verse that pulls me back when worry enters my thoughts:

    Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34

    Meaning to me - why worry? Tomorrow is already taken care of for us.

  7. LOVE this poem!! It's message is one I've been having to cling to lately. Do not be afraid, He is with me.


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