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the implanted word, which is able to save your souls


Sometimes when I think about Mary, I remember Phuong.

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, Phuong was captured by Love, transformed by mystery.  Like Mary, she whispered “Yes” to the promises beyond belief, receiving with meekness the implanted Word.  When I told her that she was a part of God’s family, now and forever, she cried with wonder that such a thing could be true. Let it be, she said.

Phuong told everyone about the Love that had found her.  She couldn’t stop talking about the mystery that swept her heart. But, like Mary, Phuong had an experience of God that was not aLways accepted by her culture. 


Mary traveled to Elizabeth, looking for someone to help her understand God at work in her.  Phuong too looked for others who had experienced the miracle, people who shared her native language who might confirm her experience of the Word of God.  She traveled to them, by train, through the night.

Months later, they came to visit her too, but this time they were followed.  The authorities called their beliefs illegal, took their books, threatened their families and livelihoods. Friends betrayed Phuong, family didn’t believe what she believed.  Threats reigned, community scattered.  

I wonder if Mary knew how the Word implanted in her would tear her apart, in every way. I remember Phuong telling me, early on, that she was counting the cost, and she had made her decision, but how could she have known?  

How can we ever guess at the demands Love will make of us?  How can we ever believe our hearts will heal, and that they will heal open wider than before?




{Phuong is not her real name.}

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Luke 1:38
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. John 1:14
...receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21