We read the stories of Gideon, Barak, Samson,

Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets….

Through acts of faith,

they toppled kingdoms,

made justice work,

took the promises for themselves.

They were protected from lions,

They were protected in the fires,

They were protected when swords were thrusts at them,

They turned disadvantage to advantage,

They won battles,

They routed alien armies.

Women received their loved ones back from the dead.

There were those who, under torture, refused to give in & go free,

They preferred something better: resurrection.

Others braved abuse & whips,

Others endured chains & dungeons.

We have stories of those who were stoned,

Stories of some sawed in two,

We have stories of those who were murdered in cold blood;

We have stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins,

We have stories of those who were homeless, friendless, powerless—

The world didn’t deserve them!

They were making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.

Hebrews 11:32-38

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