Wurmbrand Archive #5
With God in Solitary Confinement
By Richard Wurmbrand
Many became mad in prison. You could hear the silence of the solitary prison interrupted from time to time by the terrible cries. And then you knew that someone has become mad. Immediately these cries ceased because those who began to cry were put in straight-jackets and gagged until the crisis passed.
And I asked God what I should do to avoid to become mad under maddening circumstances. And he put in my mind never to sleep during the night, but to pass the whole night in prayer, in spiritual exercises. A part of the night I danced. I danced every night to the glory of the Lord. Sometimes the joy was so overwhelming that if we would not have danced our hearts would have rent in pieces.
And then, I decided every night to deliver a sermon. For the first time I could preach completely freely. I had not to care what my bishop would think about my sermon, I had not to care what my colleagues would think, [or] if the congregation will keep me as pastor or not after having delivered such sermons. I could simply express to God whatever I had on my heart. In a church, a pastor has always to praise God. But David quarrelled with God, Job quarrelled with God – then at the end he saw that God was right. But he just expressed everything that he had on his heart.
So, there were different sermons. Some could not be called sermons unless you can deliver sermons to God. I said to God whatever I thought. Some of these sermons are in my book. [With God in Solitary Confinement available from our eStore here.]
There was a second type of sermon – sermons to the brethren and sisters. I was very sure that I am heard. As America and Europe and Australia all communicate beneath the ocean – beneath the ocean there is only just one mass of earth. So, beneath our individual consciousnesses, there exists a collective unconscious in which all men are one. And there exists a possibility of communication – this communion of the saints, this fellowship of the saints.
And I believed, I believe in angels. I believe that they have six wings. Now why do they need six wings? Probably they wish to be our messengers. They wish to fly around. Prison walls would not hinder them. And I believed that angels will take these sermons on their wings and will bring them to Christians far away.
And I delivered, I composed and delivered every night, a sermon beginning with, ‘Dear brethren and dear sisters’ and finishing with ‘Amen.’
There is a third category of sermons – sermons to my own soul. There were nights when I was in a straight-jacket and gagged, and when I could not deliver a sermon. Then I spoke with my own soul. And in order to remember these sermons (because I had some belief that once I would be free) I condensed their main thoughts in such rhymes which I could memorise. I repeated them again and again and again. I broke down under the doping, then I forgot, but as the effects of the drugs passed my memory came back.
And when I came out from prison, I wrote down 350 such poems, condensations of sermons. I didn’t know at that time that Hodder and Stoughton could publish only 20. So, these sermons happened to be written. They are a small part of the sermons which I have composed then in prison.