Last week, my little brother woke up in the middle of the night confused, whining and demanding things. He would not go back to sleep. He wanted a light on, his book, his bear, and other things. My sister and I were half asleep, and trying to go back to sleep, but he kept asking stuff and would not be quiet. Then when he had finally quieted down, and I was able to sleep in peace, our dog Roger started barking at something--probably a cow. He would not stop. And his bark is loud and deep. I lay in bed wide awake and annoyed. Of all the times that he could start barking! Now, in the middle of the night? After I had just been half awake for the last half hour or more?
My adorable little brother <3
But then I remembered something. Something I had read in a book a while ago.
Living in a house with eight people--two of which are little boys--with noisy, Italian blood running strong, this story has come to mind a couple times.
It is a story of a man named Richard Wurmbrand. You may have heard of him--he was a missionary to his own country of Romania.
He was imprisoned and tortured because he was a Christian living in a Communist country.
Making a silly face :)
One form of torture he was put through was lack of sound. He was put into an underground prison that had no windows, and everything was dirt or padded. No footsteps sounding, no open and close of a door, no voices speaking. It made him go nearly insane. Imagine no noise at all? How loud and obnoxious the constant conversation in your head would get! How frantic and restless your brain would become! How welcome to your ears even the slightest sound! I remember distinctly a phrase in the book that said that he would be grateful for even a simple fly or mosquito buzzing in his ear. How often do we get annoyed by and take for granted these things? But there wasn't even that in this noiseless, padded cell. In case you are wondering, Mr. Wurmbrand, by the grace of God, did not go insane or deny his Lord, and eventually was released from prison, later to found the ministry called Voice of the Martyrs.
Our dog Roger
When I thought of this story that night, and when I think of it at times when I'm annoyed with the noise, I remember to be grateful for even that. Don't get me wrong; I often am annoyed and irritated with things, but I'm grateful for stories like these that sometimes can help me remember that these are blessings from God, and can help me grow more into Christ's image--even if they are irritating.
Next time you are annoyed with noise--even the constant buzzing of a fly or mosquito, try to remember the story of Richard Wurmbrand in a noiseless prison cell, nearly going insane for the sake of his Lord, who would be grateful for noise so simple as that; remember this, and give thanks to God for blessing you with it.
*Disclaimer: Story of Richard Wurmbrand is written as I remember it and is subject to some faults :) *
*The photos in this post are mine; please do not use without permission.*