One of us can't resist the lure of those bargain tables in
bookstores. These leftover books called "remainders" often sell for
$5 or less. We once found a book called "Reaching toward the
Heights" with the price of 25 cents on one of these tables.
The author, Richard Wurmbrand, was a Lutheran pastor of Jewish
origin. Born in Romania in 1909, he later spent 14 years in
Communist prisons and three of those years were in solitary
confinement. Later, he and his wife immigrated to California, where
they began "Voice of the Martyrs," a worldwide ministry to those
imprisoned for Christ.
We found "Reaching toward the Heights" to be full of wit,
wisdom, stories and deep spiritual insight; all for the price of a
quarter. All of this remained undiscovered by people willing to
spend a hundred times the price for a bestseller, or a book on the
latest hot topic.
Wurmbrand's little book might have been overlooked because few
people knew his name or his story. Maybe the title wasn't catchy
enough, or the cover didn't work. We paid the quarter because we
were curious. Later we discovered the wealth inside.
Henry David Thoreau said, "What lies behind us and what lies
ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." We
can no more see what is inside another person than we can see the
whole spectrum of light or hear the whole range of sound.
We make judgments and mentally place people on "remainder
tables" without a clue as to what lies within them. People have a
habit of deciding the value of someone without looking below the
surface. After all, Nathaniel judged Jesus, sight unseen, with the
words, "From Nazareth? Can anything good come from that place?"
God has an interesting habit of picking his heroes from the
leftover tables of humanity. People thought little of an Israelite
youth named Joseph stuck in an Egyptian prison. When Samuel came to
anoint a king, no one had bothered to call David in from the
Who would have thought that a South African man stuck in prison
for 27 years would become one of the world's greatest leaders? How
many times were all of these people discounted with a look,
excluded or cut down with a word to the size people tried to make
The unborn, lost to us through abortion, are the most discounted
of all. Only God sees the treasure lost to us when the most
helpless are considered to be an inconvenience. Among them are
likely to be ones God has chosen to bring peace, cure terrible
illnesses and open our hearts to his love.
For a quarter, we discovered the life of a man who brought
thousands to Christ. How much is the life of an unborn child