She was 15. She was a slave. And she was incredibly brave.
The year was 177. The place? Lyon (in what is now France). Under pressure from Roman pagans in the city, the city officials allowed Christians to be imprisoned, and eventually killed. Captured Christians who were Roman citizens were decapitated; all others were sent to the arena to suffer horrible fates under the eyes of a violence-hungry crowd.
Among them was a young, frail servant girl named Blandine. She would be the last of the group to succumb to death, surviving one form of torture after another. Her faith, manifested in the singing of songs, in prayer, and in the vocal encouragement of her fellow martyrs, eventually touched the crowd so much that they begged her to renounce her faith in Christ and live. But this young girl stood firm until death, her eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of her faith.
That is how a young, insignificant slave girl became a source of inspiration for countless generations of Christians, proving that the Spirit endows God’s children with indescribable courage in the face of danger, regardless of their age, gender, or status. She is but one in the cloud of witnesses we can learn about by reading amazing biographies of Christians who helped change the world in their generation by being faithful to Jesus, no matter what.
Father, thank you for surrounding us with a cloud of witnesses throughout the history of your Church, disciples who trusted in you for the strength to remain faithful until the end, their eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. May their stories inspire us to live full-out for you, at all times, whatever the cost, knowing that your Spirit will give us all the courage we need to accomplish your will. Amen.
Today, remember that the God who gave a young slave the courage to surmount incredible suffering for Him will also give you the courage to face whatever challenges come your way in a way that honors Him. Consider reading a biography of a famous Christian early this year.
Are you all in for Jesus?
Photo Credit: Teddy Kelley