Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, readily admitted that of all of the tortures that he faced, it was the use of drugs by his persecutors that he found the most difficult. When I first read that over 12 years ago, I could not grasp the truth of what he was referring to, especially not when I had read of the horrific physical tortures that he had endured.
Now, as I struggle to write each line of this blog, I understand Pastor Wurmbrand’s words far better.
Right now I am in hospital undergoing radiation treatment. My doctor is hoping to shrink cancerous lymph nodes in my lower back and pelvic region that have increased in size and are pressing against nerves, causing a great deal of pain.
To counter this pain, I am taking painkillers that are increasingly hindering my ability to think clearly. Emotionally, these drugs are making me fragile and insecure, and my inability to remember details is only reinforcing this.
Yes, I can understand why Pastor Wurmbrand felt that drugs were the greatest challenge that he had faced in his years of torture. You find yourself in a position when you wonder how successful you are really being in controlling your mind, mouth, or emotions. You simply don’t know. You fear what you might have said but which you cannot remember. You cannot remember Bible verses that were once precious to you. You cannot remember things that you know you should know (right now, for example, I cannot remember how many years Pastor Wurmbrand was in prison. I should know this and I could look it up, but it is good that you know what I am referring to. I simply do not remember if it was 12 or 14 years).
When drugged up, you find it harder to retain one’s confession of faith and truth when you cannot control your tongue. Of course, I am sure of God’s faithfulness at times like this. But drugs make you wonder what is real was real and what was drug-induced. Perhaps your past faithfulness was just a ruse. Guilt becomes a constant companion.
To that end, I ask you to pray for me during this time. More importantly, pray for Christian prisoners who undergo such drug-induced torture daily. For me, there is hope that it will end soon. For many of them, there is no such hope.