And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding,
so that we may know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true…”
– 1 John 5:20
Can You Hear? Do You Understand?
It was my twenty-third summer and, in recent years, auspicious life experiences had brought positive change to my life. Now I was back in Germany, this time as a soldier.
Today the First Sergeant had left word for me to report, and I rushed downstairs: “You have a brother?” he asked.
“Yes; Wolfgang. Why?”
“Someone called. He’s been arrested by the East German police.”
Back upstairs I sat motionless on my bunk, but soon, unexpectedly, found myself at the office of the Battalion Chaplain. I did not know him, having attended no church services while in the military. I explained that in 1948 my older brother had applied for political asylum in Berlin, worked as an assistant to Otto Suhr, Mayor of West Berlin, and was taken into custody. That was all I knew.
The pastor prayed for his safety and early release, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The voice revealed that this man knew Jesus.
That afternoon I received a letter from my parents in East Germany, telling me that Wolfgang had embarked by train, and was taken by the police at the first Communist check point. As a political refugee myself, I understood the inherent danger to his life.
At night I was called downstairs one more time: “Someone called. Your brother has been released, and is safe,” they told me.
When and how do we perceive the voice of God? Too often I am hard of hearing, or unable (please may I not be unwilling) to comprehend.
Twenty-nine additional summers came and went. As an attorney, I lived with a wife and two daughters in a Chatsworth home we had built—the place where I now cowered in bed, curled up in a fetal position—grieving. The night before, I had found my youngest child on the Winnetka Bridge spanning the 118 Freeway, and taken her to a psychiatric hospital in Van Nuys early in the morning.
Then, mere weeks later and extending over many months, members of the Bible Study I joined through Bel Air Presbyterian Church prayed for her.
Today she lives in a small apartment in North Hollywood; we recently celebrated her fortieth birthday.
There was a man named Jesus: He is God.
- Burk Wiedner