"Tonight, as I looked up for a moment from the general jolly merry-making, as I looked out through the window at the evening sky, through the bare trees at the yellow horizon, suddenly I remembered that it was Good Friday. The sky seemed strangely far away and indifferent and it saddened me. Or perhaps it was the people with their empty laughter, for whom the sky had no relevance. I felt excluded from the merry party and from the unconcerned sky." - Sophie Scholl
I read this from Sophie's diary and my heart resonated with her. So often I've looked up from my own merry-making and the world suddenly seems to expand before me and my own isolated bubble is exposed to the imperative issues that will inevitably touch it.
It is so much easier, and altogether more comfortable, to live in seclusion and peace of our own homes, thoughts, churches and good fortune.
Once in a while we are accosted by today's troubles. No matter how shielded we are, it is impossible to escape the atrocities of the dying unsaved souls, suicide victims, abortion and it's murdered innocents, the neglected elderly, the emotionally scarred children in foster homes that live unwanted and unhelped. The homeless. They helpless. The hopeless.
Sophie and Hans Scholl also could not escape their time and their country's horrors. Like all of us, they were not given the choice as to which time-period they were to be born into. They happened to be young Germans in the 1940s. And this was their firm conviction --
"...Which one of us can foretell the unspeakable shame that will be visited on us and our children when the scales fall from our eyes and the crimes, most horrible and infinitely beyond measure, come to light? Is the German people, in its innermost soul, so corrupt and decayed? Will it without lifting a finger, frivolously trusting questionable laws of history, surrender the most valuable thing mans own, that which raises him above all other creatures? Will the German people surrender free will, man's freedom to help put a spoke in the wheel of history and subordinate it to his own reason, his own decision? If Germans are so devoid of personal individuality, if they have become so irretrievably a mindless and craven mass -- then, indeed then they deserve to perish."
The opening sentences of the White Roses' first leaflet.
The White Rose was first birthed by a group of students who were joined in their mutual "non-conformity" and love for freedom. All held in high revere literature that had been banned and consigned to book burning. Each of them held their dictator in disgust, and all had witnessed in various forms the terrors of Nazism. They eventually grew impatient of simply talking of the issues and horrors and each determined to strongly resist. Their solution? Issuing leaflets calling for resistance to Hitler.
When the first leaflet was dispersed in Munich Germany, it created a sensation. It was a daring trumpet blast in the mandatory silence of Nazism. Some took the leaflets right away to the police. Others disposed of it. But some of them followed the leaflet's instructions and retyped the page with as many carbon copies and passed it on. One such person said, "Today no one will believe how happy we are to do something against the regime at long last."
The next leaflets informed the German people of the atrocities of the Fuhrer and Nazism. "The fact is that since the conquest of Poland 300,000 Jews have bestially murdered in that country." The leaflet stated that anyone who watched such crimes without doing something about them could not possibly acquit himself of guilt. Their last word?
"The White Rose will not leave you in peace!"
Hans once told his sister -- "It is high time that Christians, too, [not only Communist and Social-Democratic resistance fighters] start doing something. Chrisitans have to set up a visiable sign of resistance. When we are asked at the end of the war, 'What did you do?' shall we stand there empty handed?" - Hans Scholl
The Scholl siblings along with the rest of the White Rose did do something. They appealed to their fellow Germans. They publicly protested. They refused to prolong Hitler's war by donating to the Nazi "Winter Aid" clothing drive that was to benefit German soldiers in Russia. They helped prisoners of war and foreign workers. All things what their sister Inge called "...small scale resistance, practical and tangible, and potentiality contagious."
One story of a friend further demonstrates the Scholl's resistance.
"That evening, as we walked in the English Garden, Sophie seemed very nervous to me, She said
"...one ought to do something, for instance, write on walls."
I said, "I have a pencil in my pocket."
Sophie: "It has to be done with tar-based paint."
I: "But that's insanely dangerous."
Sophie, evasively,: The night is a friend of the free."
Next morning I went with Sophie and Hans to the university to attend Professor Huber's class... There was a big crowd of students by the university entrance staring at the stone wall. As we came closer we saw the word FREEDOM printed in black paint in three-foot-high letters. Several cleaning women were busily trying to scrub off the writing. An older student said to Sophie, "Those b*******." Hans urged us to walk on -- "We don't want to be conspicuous." As we left, Sophie said to me under her breath, "They have a long scrub ahead of them; that's tar-paint."
These young people dared to cry for freedom in a "state where all free expression has been ruthlessly gagged". They admonished others to "Fight the Party! Get out of the Party organizations where they silence you with 'No Polotics!' Get out of the lecture rooms of SS leaders and SS chief leaders and Party toadies! We are committed to true science and genuine freedom of thought!"
If the White Rose could courageously fight and even die for such a nobal cause, it should quicken our sense of justice and duty to fight our modern culture and atrocities.
At ages 22 and 24, Sophie and Hans Scholl shook their nation with their radical stance on freedom. Especially after their brave martyrdom.
"I remember meeting an acquaintance on the street one day, and he said to me, "Don't beam so! They'll arrest you for beaming." That is how it was. We didn't have much of a chance to survive, but survival was not what counted. Life counted. Life itself touched our hearts through the death of Hans and Sophie Scholl and their friends. ... Hope. That was what [they] gave us." - Ilse Aichinger
I am not writing this to discourage or condemn. But to inspire you as the Scholls did me. The Bible mentions in 2 Corinthians how mortality can be swallowed up in life. This is my desire. And yet, to be mortal, to relish peace and security and to even grow weary of the battle and wish to close our eyes to the world and it's horrors is no condemnation. It is our instinct. But we can choose to be selfish mortals, or we can allow our mortality to be swallowed up in life. His life.
I'm not saying we need to start a crusade. I'm not saying we should sell our home and join a cause. I'm not saying we now need to spend every 24 hours printing leaflets.
True hearted"small scale" resistance in our culture might be giving up a movie night to petition our Representatives. It might mean not pro-longing the "war" on innocents by refusing to support Pro-Choice businesses. It might mean taking the risk of looking foolish by passing out a tract. It might mean exercising our mind when we'd rather zone and entertain ourselves.
Many of us are busy. Okay, all of us are insanely busy. And that's not a condemnation. Some of us might only realistically have 15 minutes a week to actively engage in our world's battle. Some of us might have more.
But we will do nothing if we are convinced that we don't have any time. If we have time to like posts on Facebook, watch a movie, play a game, email -- we have a few minutes. We will do nothing if we are convinced that it's not our duty. We will do nothing if we won't take it seriously. We will do nothing if we are unconvinced at our nation's need.
But here are the facts:
Millions are on their way to Hell.
Approximately every 12.8 minutes someone dies from suicide in the U.S. alone.
3,500 babies are killed every year in the United States.
And this is just a few examples...
David asked, "Is there not a cause...?" Absolutely. And we can take his example to heart. He went and did what he knew best. He gathered stones for his sling shot. And then he made himself available to his Strength and his Redeemer.
David had to throw off his brother's criticism. We too must throw off criticism. Low expectations of others. In fact, our world expects it's young people to be self-absorbed, ignorant adolescents.
What has God gifted us with? Of course we are weak earthen vessels, but we are the very vessels He has chosen. God has all the power and knowledge -- He waits on us. We are not given the choice to be warriors. We are in the midst of a battle. But we are given the choice whether to be His warriors or not.
Every person God ever used had their own set-backs, their own weaknesses, their own hard circumstances. But you are His warrior and He has given you life for a purpose. What if we only have 22 years like Sophie? Twenty two years from now even? I desire to be a White Rose in my nation and my time. I want to be able to face my death and say as Sophie did --
"I would do everything again, exactly the same way."
"The Short Life of Sophie Scholl" by Herman Vinke
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