I was sitting in a medical waiting room recently and faced with the usual array of out of date magazines, I flipped through one that seemed to offer more than celebrity gossip. What I found was a brief article on Terry Waite. It had been years since I had seen the name, and it sparked my interest.
What price is Christian witness? Waite went to the Middle East to negotiate the freedom of Christian hostages on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He did an admirable job, but made some mistakes along the way. He was seen with various “American interests” in the region, and his credibility was compromised, though his Christian purpose was not. And, rather than abandon hostages for which he had been negotiating release, he continued to show a spirit of dedication, and put himself at risk in the process. The result was that he himself became a hostage from 1987 to 1991.
I find the man inspirational for his quiet attitude to service (to God and to man -Luke 10:27). Waite, despite over 1700 days in captivity, kept his faith. There doesn’t seem to be any stony or thorny ground in his heart ( Mark 4: 10-20). He is a member of the Society of Friends, and has led the Emmaus project to aid the homeless in the UK. He is an example of one willing to “take up his cross and follow . . . .”
Are you ready to shoulder yours?