Words are completely inadequate to express the torrent of thought that we
share with you in these past days. I've received all your emails. I keyed
out a reply, which was, in my tiredness, (I had been up some 20+ hours when
I wrote) trite, so binned it. So, over the next day, I penned two pieces to
you in my notebook. These I will key into the computer and mail off to you
When we first heard about the tragic event in Littleton, some strange quirk
of my mind [alerted me]. In trepidation, I looked at those martyred faces
[in TIME Magazine].. I hesitated at the picture of Rachel Scott. The name
seemed somehow familiar to me, and in retrospect, it is quite possible that
you have mentioned [her] to me [before].
On the Saturday, when, unknown to us at that time, Rachel was being laid to
rest, Annette and I were celebrating both her birthday and our wedding
anniversary. Little Jean-Paul is over one year old now, and [my wife]
Annette says how it would be nice to have a little brother or sister to
play with. I said to Annette, "If we have another little girl, let's call
However, it was that night that I downloaded several weeks worth of email.
I did it in fear and trembling.. fearing honestly the worst case scenario
when I saw mail from you keep re-appearing. I knew that your own family was
somehow safe, yet I was afraid, knowing that this tragedy had touched you
in some tragic way. And it had.
I wished Annette and I could hold the Scott family so tight to us and cry a
little with them*. Maybe one day we can. However I know that the real
comforter is the Holy Spirit, and our heart for those precious ones is the
heart of the Holy Spirit, Who knows no barriers of time or distance.
On the Monday, tragedy struck it's evil shadow within a mile of our home,
and within a crazed gunman's running distance from the building where we
launched out with [our church plant] Living Waters. Jill Dando, one of our
best known TV presenters was shot dead at point blank range as she turned
to open her front door. She was a Christian - one of the rare ones in
British media. She was another English Rose. On her way to her destiny, she
stopped at our local mini-mall, shopped at the electronics store that I
shop in, and drove down the back streets, it is thought, avoiding the
traffic, past our house, and in less than ten minutes, she lay dead.
Meanwhile, the killer ran through the park where my children play, and was
last seen at the bus stop outside our previous church building, waiting for
the bus that takes my two older children to school.
Bruce, my friend. We live in a world gone mad. We reap what we sow. The
Western world is reaping now the consequences of permissiveness, of a
so-called "free" culture where everyone - including devils incarnate have
equal rights with law abiding, God fearing citizens. You, dear friend, have
prophesied it time and time again. And we have seen, no experienced the
pain and the shadow of it in recent days. None of us would wish any of this
to happen. Indeed, if there was anything we could -and can- do to turn the
tide, that is our heart set. Yet, through the pain, it makes the stark
reality no less real.
Oh may I have a heart that cries out night and day for the Body of Christ
to rise up and be what we must be in this hour. May I cast off all
complacency, and be what I must be. And let me stand together with my
brothers and sisters. Only in standing together in love and unity across
the petty doctrinal differences, and in standing in love and compassion,
then on our knees and on our faces before a holy God, will this war be won.
My brother, I close now. I pray these words may be read as words of
comfort. They are in no way words of judgment. If that were the case, I
would first have to consider the four fingers pointing at myself. Jesus
TOOK all judgment for us on calvary, yet He IS the "God of All Comfort".
That is the important thing for Littleton. And I do truly believe that
something great and glorious, costing as it has, the ultimate sacrifice,
will come from this, and that many, many, will be turned to righteousness
as a result. I KNOW it will be so. Rachel Scott has her heartís desire.. a
perfect relationship with her Lord, and she truly has become, in a tragic
way, a missionary not just to Africa.. but to the whole world.
*[We did, indeed have the privelage of hugging, laughing and crying with
Rachel's mother and step-father rather sooner than we expected, during
August 1999, when Beth & Larry Nimmo were our guests while in London,
Copyright 1999-2006 John E. Ruffle, London, England. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to copy unedited extracts for non-profit making
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