Maewyn was abducted
from his family home at the age of 16. He was trapped in the world of human trafficking in a third world country for the next 6 years.
He was bought by a war lord who put him to forced labor.
He had no rights.
He had no respect.
He had no love.
He looked for escape at every opportunity.
As he labored, he turned to faith in God for comfort.
There were no other believers in that area but he remembered enough of his family’s faith to get him started.
When the opportunity to escape finally came, he jumped at it. The attempt nearly killed him.
When he finally made it home, he studied more about Christ, eventually becoming a minister.
Then came the call on his life.
He had a vision in which he received a note from the people of the land of his captivity. It begged him to return.
I don’t know about you, but I would be very hesitant to return to where life was horrible. Nobody wants to revisit bad memories, much less, live among them.
The closer Maewyn got to God, the more he understood God’s compassion and the need the people of that land to get to know God.
Maewyn obeyed the call.
By now he had taken a new name to reflect his changed life.
He returned to that violent land, Ireland, under his new name, Patrick.
He brought the Gospel to a land that desperately needed it and brought about the most drastic revival Northern Europe had ever seen.
Maewyn was just a normal upper middle class teenager in his day. He suffered some extreme trauma that turned his life upside down. No one would have blamed him if he had just found a quiet place to hide the rest of his life.
But he didn’t.
Instead of letting the trauma rule him, he channeled it into compassion and action.
I know that PTSD, social anxiety, and many other conditions are real. I don’t mean to belittle them.
But what would happen if we submitted our fears and trauma to God and let him heal and use them to bring healing to others? I know it’s not easy or simple but Patrick and many others have shown it is possible and the fruits of their actions show it is worth it.
This Friday, as you enjoy your corned beef and cabbage or shamrock shake (or green beer), remember the life of that guy who brought Christ to Ireland and ask yourself if there’s anything you can learn from him. It might just bring you to a life of healing and action.