This is an old post from November 19, 2009. I was reminded of it yesterday. I needed to read it again...
In the NIV Application Commentary on the book of Mark they share this story on p. 512:
Will Campbell tells the story of an Anabaptist woman who lived in Antwerp. She had been arrested a few days earlier for proclaiming the gospel of Christ as she understood it from her personal reading of the Scripture and from study and discussion with others of like faith. She underwent the inquisition of the clerics for heresy and the bodily torture of the civil authorities, but she would not buckle under to their pressure. After six months, she would not promise to stop preaching the word from her own reading of the Bible. So the authorities did what they thought they had to do: They sentenced her to death on October 5, 1573. Included in the sentence was the stipulation to the executioner that her tongue be screwed fast to the roof of her mouth so that she might not testify along the way as they took her to the stake where she was to be burned.
That day her teenage son, Adriaen, took his youngest brother, three-year-old Hans Mattheus, and they stood near the stake so that her first and last issue might be near her at her moment of death. Three other women and a man were to die that day for the same terrible offense -- unauthorized preaching of the gospel. When the flames were lit, Adriaen fainted. He could not witness the horror. But when it was all over and the ashes had cooled, he sifted through them until he found the screw that had silenced his mother's tongue. It would not silence his.
Yeah... Yesterday I got a haircut. They always ask me in some way or another what it is I do for a living. The girl asked yesterday, and as always, I said I pastor a church. We continued to chit-chat, and right before she was done she says, "I've never seen a pastor with an earring before." I don't really know what I even said, but it occurred to me afterward what an idiot I am. She was trying to open a door; and I was holding it shut. I never did inquire as to her faith, or whether she is connected with a church - much less invite her to ours. I used to invite almost everybody I met to our church. I don't know why I don't anymore. I need to. And even more than that I need to be more open about sharing my faith and my love for Jesus. After all, my tongue is not screwed down.