As If

How are you handling your hygienic incarceration? If you’re strictly following the curfew guidelines you’re down to six hours of freedom a week. If you’re following the intent of the curfew then you’re out even less. Has your freedom of movement ever been so seriously restricted?

Sue and I have been thankful that our confinement includes a yard and that no one has removed our patio furniture or roped off the pool. We know it must be difficult for those of you living in towers. As you are forced to “shelter in place” even a beautiful condo could begin to feel like the proverbial gilded cage.

I’m sure our experience of these restrictions varies greatly. Socializers are probably feeling it more acutely than introverts. In fact, introverts are still writing thank you notes to MINSA. Sue and I find ourselves missing people … but not missing all our self-imposed activities. We really haven’t minded staying home for a change.

Were you sent the fallacious report about the 15-day total quarantine? The one where everything was going to be shut down and the streets would be completely empty? What if it had been true? What if it comes true? How would you handle not being able to leave your house at all for 15 days? I think I would feel like a prisoner.

Let me suggest that we not waste our confinement. If you’re frustrated by the curtailment of your freedoms … think about those around the world imprisoned for their faith in Jesus Christ. Did you know that’s a command in Scripture? Hebrews 13:3 states, “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”  Pray for the following people by name and put your “suffering” in perspective:

  • Name: Pastor Wang Yi, Location: China, Arrested: December 2018, Sentence: 9 years imprisonment
  • Name: Pastor John Cao, Location: China, Arrested: March 2017, Sentence: 7 years imprisonment
  • Name: Zhang Shaojie, Location: China, Arrested: November 2013, Sentence: 12 years imprisonment
  • Name: Naser Navard-Goltapeh, Location: Iran, Arrested: June 2016, Sentence: 10 years imprisonment
  • Name: Zafar Bhatti, Location: Pakistan, Arrested: July 2012, Sentence: Unknown
  • Name: Pastor Kim Kuk-Gi, Location: North Korea, Arrested: December 2014, Sentence: Life imprisonment
  • Name: Mussie Ezaz, Location: Eritrea, Arrested: September 2007, Sentence: Indefinite
Realistically … we are not suffering and it’s not for our faith. Still, how do you feel being told you can’t go to church? By law, nobody is allowed out on Sundays. Places all over the world are arguing whether worship is an “essential service.” This is not religious persecution, but we might be better able to imagine what that would be like. I pray that having your sense of freedom challenged will make you appreciate what you have. For instance, your Bible. April 1st marked the beginning of CBC’s second read-through of the New Testament. Let me know if you need a schedule. It’s not like you’ve got somewhere else to be 😊.