Late at night, in the cold of a Dutch winter, an innocent man flees before his pursuer.
If he is caught, he will be put to death for his faith.
Coming to a body of water, he runs across the ice and despite the danger, makes it to the other side.
His pursuer is not so lucky and falls through the ice.
The man, Dirk Willems, hearing the cries of his enemy, returns and saves his life.
The “thief-catcher” wants to free his savior, but the authorities insist he follow the law.
Willems is arrested and burned at the stake, literally giving his life for another, his enemy.
(A note regarding numbers: As he died a long slow death, Willems “was heard to exclaim over seventy times, ‘O my Lord; my God,’ etc.” Strange to find this number in the account of a man who exemplified the Rule of the 490).
February 5, 2012