Afraid to Die?

Should we be afraid to die? 

Below is a poem i read a few years ago that i like to read every so often. Its a great reminder that as a follower of Jesus we have nothing to be afraid of. We can live under the peace and joy that only the assurance of our savior can provide.

The poem, entitled “Afraid?” was written by Presbyterian missionary E.H.Hamilton after the martyrdom of one of his colleagues, J.W. Vinson, at the hands of rebel soldiers in northern China. A small Chinese girl who escaped from the bandits spoke of the incident that provided the inspiration for Hamilton’s poem.

“Are you afraid?” the bandits asked Vinson as they menacingly waved a gun in front of him.

“No,” he replied with complete assurance. “If you shoot, I go straight to heaven.”

His decapitated body was found not to long after.

Here is the poem:

Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour’s face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash - a crash - a pierced heart;
Brief darkness - Light - O Heaven’s art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven’s rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not -
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?