Most sublime words

Nikolai Khamara

Soviet Union

1970s.

“What kind of people are these?” Nikolai Khamara wondered. “They suffer and are happy at the same time. They sing in the most difficult moments. If they have a piece of bread, they share it with those who have nothing. In the morning and in the evening, they fold their hands and talk to the one who cannot be seen, and their faces light up as they do so.”

Nikolai Khamara had already been following the Christians with whom he shared a cell for four months. The Christians were imprisoned because they had not renounced their faith in Jesus, but Khamara was arrested for robbery and sentenced to ten years in prison. He described himself as a person without a conscience.

One day two Christians sat with Khamara. He told them his sad life story and ended it with the words: “I am a lost soul.”

A Christian asked Khamara: “Suppose someone loses a precious gold ring. Does the value of the ring change if it is lost?”

“What a stupid question!” replied Khamara. “Gold is gold and if you lose it, someone else will find it.”

“But what is the value of a missing person?” asked the Christian. And answering his own question, he continued: “A lost soul, whether he is a thief, an adulterer or a murderer, is still a valuable person. She is so precious that the Son of God came from heaven to earth and died for her.”

Nikolai Khamara understood.

The Christians said to the robber: “God loves you. You are important to Him.

When Jesus met robbers, prostitutes, and sinners, He never asked what they had done. Instead, he said, “Rejoice, your sins are forgiven.” I also tell you, your sins are forgiven you because Jesus died for you. You just have to believe.”

Khamara became a Christian.

When he was released from prison, he joined an underground church, even though it meant constant threat from the KGB. He became a faithful member of the local church.

After some time, the pastor of their church was arrested. He was beaten and tortured to reveal the names of his parishioners and to provide information about an underground printing house that printed religious books that were distributed throughout the district. Despite the torture, he did not give any information because if he had, many of his associates would have been arrested.

After the pastor had been beaten for a long time and nothing had been achieved, the leader of the interrogators said, “Okay, we will not torture you any more. We now have another method.”

Nikolai Khamara was arrested and brought to the pastor. “If you don’t answer our questions, we will torture him in front of you.”

The pastor could not bear the thought of anyone suffering for him, and he asked Khamara, “What must I do?”

Nikolai Khamara answered: “Be faithful to Jesus and do not betray Him. I am happy to suffer for Jesus.”

The captain said: “Now we’ll gouge out his eyes.” They took the knife and started moving towards Khamara. The pastor could not bear it. He shouted to Khamara: “I can’t watch this! You will go blind!”

The man replied: “If I lose those eyes, I will see more beauty than I could with them. I see my Redeemer. Be faithful to Christ to the end.”

When he had finished and saw that the pastor was not saying anything, the captain turned to the pastor and said, “If you don’t give up your church, we will cut out his tongue.”

The pastor shouted desperately, “What should I do?”

Nikolai Khamara’s last words were: “Praise Jesus Christ! I said the most sublime words that can be said! Now do what you want!”

Khamara became a martyr.

Excerpt from Voice of the martyrs “Jesus Freaks.”

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