Let them all praise the name of the Lord. For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven! ~Psalm 148:13
A journey to England started last Sunday in this post with a sense of destiny and an invitation. To join me on a pilgrimage to the place where history speaks through the buildings, the streets, the trees, and the stories people leave behind.
A look back to the ancient ruins and the people who walked their hallowed halls for clarity about the future.
Slow and methodical, I navigate the steps of the Beaucamp Tower and my heart beats heavy for the prisoners who leave etched words and pictures of faith in the thick, stone walls while they await death.
Their words still plead with those that pass by now. That living for Christ is not an outward experience; it burns deep in the soul.
And I have to wonder about how a man, imprisoned for ten years in the solitary of a small, cold room finds contentment. His words on the wall reveal the truth. That when we soak up Christ, true love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control drip from the soul, no matter the circumstance.
Oh, to live unmoved by transitory circumstance, overcome with the joy of all He is.
My fingers rest on knobby stone walls. I can almost hear the crinolines scrapping the floor, envision women walking ahead of me with slight glance, and hear Sir Issac Pennington, Lord Mayor of London in 1642 greeting those he passes by on his way down the tower staircase. Think about how he stands to watch the be-heading of the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, and then finds himself a prisoner in a tower years later.
Realize that his history is now my history. These leaders risk, lay down reputation to take up convictions worth dying for the same way Jesus lays down his life for us.
Pennington’s son shares his name and the fate of imprisonment more than once for faith convictions as a Quaker. And while he serves time, he writes about the ways of God, his words prolific like time is a precious gift. Some of his words here:
“Thou art but a traveler in this world, and yet thou wilt look after a sure title in these transitory things; oh look that there be not a flaw in thy title to thy true inheritance.”
Hundreds of years ago, he warns about what remains true today. Our inheritance in Christ is sacred. Worthy of protection from transitory things that flaw and divert us along the way.