Richard Wurmbrand

I will tell you about one man who was in jail together with me. He was a pastor. He had been beaten. His name was Demitri. They beat him with a hammer on his backbone. When they hit a certain vertebra he was paralysed. He could move only his neck. That was all.

You can imagine what a tragedy this is. At least if you are in your home or hospital, you have a wife, mother or nurse who takes care of you. How should we take care of him? There was no running water to wash him. There was no linen to change him. He lay there in his dirt. He could not stretch out his hands to bring a cup of water to his lips. The other ones who could walk and work were taken to slave labour. He had to wait until evening for a cup of water.

he lay like this in prison for a couple of years. It was hell on earth. Then in December 1989 we had the revolution in Romania, and the dictator Ceausescu was overturned. Freedom came and Demitri was released from prison. He was with his friends and family.

No doctor could help him, but now he had a loving hand to help him.

Somebody knocked at his door and came in. It was the communist who had crippled him. He said, 'Sir, don't believe that I have come to ask forgiveness from you. For what I have done, there is no forgiveness. You are not the only one I have tortured like this. You cannot forgive me and nobody can forgive me. Not even God. My crime is much too big. I have come only to tell you that I am sorry about what I have done. From you I go to hang myself. That is all.' He turned to go.

The paralysed brother, Demitri, said to him, 'Sir, in all these years I have not been so sorry as I am now, that I cannot move my arms. I would stretch them out to you and embrace you. For years I have prayed for you every day. I love you with all my heart. You are forgiven.'

He learned love from Jesus who said to Judas, 'Friend', and who prayed for those who crucified him and who accepted Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor, and made him an apostle.

Our faith means imitation of Jesus. Jesus, as often as he met a sinner did not reproach that man. He took the sin upon himself and suffered on the cross for the sin. I could tell you many such examples as this.