Wednesday, May 27, 2015


You rest in your study and you hear a knock at the door.
The face before you is solemn, grave.

“What ails you, sir?”

 “The ailment, I fear, is yours, my lord.
Your mother was arrested in Holland but a month ago,
And they swiftly executed her.”

A cry rose, unhindered, from your throat, a wailing from your chest as you fall upon your knees.

In a moment, you realize, “How can this be?  The king’s command is to cease such executions.”

Your messenger bows his head and murmurs, “Nevertheless.
“Your mother wrote you a letter, and I am here to deliver it to you.”

“Please, let me see it!” 

  “As you wish.”

Dearest Johan, my child according to the flesh, but Alas! Not according to the spirit.
I must leave you young.
May the Most High permit us to meet in the world to come.
I cannot leave you gold or silver or treasures of this world
For I took this not with me, rather I sought eternal riches.
I drink now the cup of the prophets and martyrs.
For Christ says, 'I have a cup to drink of,'
And his sheep hear his voice and follow Him.
Therefore, my child, heed the discipline and instruction of the Lord,
Bow your shoulders under His yoke and easy burden.
Wherever you hear that there is a rejected little flock,
Despised and cast out from this world, join them.
Wherever you hear of the cross of Christ, do not wander off.
Love your neighbor heartily and with a liberal heart.

You weep, for how can anyone follow the bold heart of such a woman?

Maeyken van Deventer, put to death in Rotterdam, Holland in 1573, wrote a letter to her children who did not hold to her same faith.

Paraphrased from Martyr's Mirror, pages 977-978.

1 comment:

  1. Heh... OK... reason for me to visit Rotterdam next time I'm over there... Asperen - been there, done that... :)