Richard Wurmbrand was a pastor in the mid nineteen sixties in Romania, famous for his profound experiences while in prison. He was put in prison by the communist police, tortured, and 14 years later set free.
One night, after being released, he was about to go to sleep when he was moved to go to the local pub, even though he didn’t drink. When he walked in, he saw a Russian communist officer standing at the bar waving his gun, threatening death to everyone if he did not get something to drink. In that time, Russian officers could kill anyone they wanted without consequence. Richard asked the bar tender to bring a bottle of wine and a glass. He sat with the officer and quieted him down, speaking Russian. As the officer drank, Richard told him the story of Christ, how Christ had come down from heaven and suffered many things, all because he loved us. The officer listened. And at the end, the officer said “You don’t have to tell me who you are, I know. But you don’t know me; I am an orthodox priest”. The officer continued, “During the great purging of religion, they gathered up thousands of priests and pastors and threatened to kill us all if we did not denounce our faith and join the communist party. I feared for my life. Because of my weakness, I was made to go and convince those whom I had baptized, that Christ did not exist. Because of my weakness, I was made to destroy the faith of those to whom I had proclaimed the gospel. And to those whom I had given the body and blood of Christ to, with my hand, I was forced to shoot and kill them with the same hand. And I drink and drink and drink to forget. But I cannot forget. And I cannot be forgiven.”
In the next moments, with tears running down the officer’s face, Richard was able to speak directly to his heart helping him to feel that Christ still loved him, still walks with him, forgives even him. Richard was able to see that behind the veil of the violent communist officer was actually a lost shepherd, a beloved being who still loved God.
Dear friends, like Richard, may we too learn to see Christ in everyone that we meet, no matter the veil. And in this way, the way of seeing truth through the veil, we will gradually learn to see that in and through Christ, the Father is revealed.