This week I was introduced to John Paul Lederach, a Mononite writer. This is the link to his Avent reflections.
I was particularly taken by one of John’s stories about Dirk Willems.
Dirk was a 16th-century Anabaptist. He was captured and tried for his views of what he felt it meant to follow Jesus. Jailed and awaiting the decision on how he would be put to death, he had an unexpected chance to escape. He bolted from his cell and ran across the thin ice of a nearby lake, his jailer in pursuit. Dashing at full speed, he heard a loud crack and then the anguished cries of the man chasing him who had fallen into icy water. He stopped. He listened. He turned. He made his way back. He reached out, offering open hands to someone who wished him harm. A few days later, Dirk was put to death.