I’m seldom rendered speechless, but today I’m close to it. And it is not because of North Korea’s treatment of “foreign invaders.” That is not news. Aijalon Mahli Gomes and Robert Park must have been aware of the danger they faced by entering the country without permission. Mess with the bull and you get the horns.
Walking into North Korea, carrying nothing but a Bible and a smile, is an act that can’t be explained in normal terms. The deafening silence from Robert Park, concerning his own experience as a guest of North Korea, witnesses to that.
Right or wrong, sane or insane, true or false–the actions taken by these two young Christians defy logic.
Normal days are like this: Darkness is turned to light. The blind receive their sight. Wrongs are made right. Yes, normal days are like this, but few of us are amazed.
Here is what happens: We become accustomed to the miraculous and lose the magic. Life becomes just another day, another dollar, another trip south. Another, “Who cares?”
Here is what happens: Those who are most precious to us become our enemies. Those to whom we owe the most, we treat the worst. The television news show is more urgent than the voice of a child wanting to play. Answering e-mail is more important than saying, “I love you.”
We begin to disappear, long before death overtakes us. We become cogs in the machine, zombies rolling out of bed, consumers of plastic toys and throw-away containers. Our big concern is gas mileage. Our main ambition is money in the bank. Our over-riding emotion is fear… for we cannot face the reality of our non-existence. Happy hour is God on Sunday. This is what happens to the best of us.
Perhaps someone tries to warn us, but we scold them, we chastise them, they must be silenced, status quo is the way to go, it’s always been done like this. We shut them away quickly so that their disturbing ideas are silenced. No one visits them. The guards become infected and must be replaced. They get early retirement, or are given other positions of promise in return for their silence. Shhhhh. No one must know.
Nothing is sacred. We want sanitary preachers in clean suits and not too bold ties. We will gladly give them our money, if they continue to leave us alone. Let us wilt and die. Some of them become show-men. This is a helpful diversion. A room-full of imposters can hide the Truth and allow us to believe our chosen lie. We can pretend that all lunacy is equal. We need not listen with our hearts, our cold hearts. We are safe from wisdom here. We have money and highways and malls. We have universities and basketball and cheerleaders.
I write this to warn you. You are not safe. The Lion is loose. Your life is at stake.
You may be asked to be kind to a stranger—the one with unclean hands. You may be asked to visit the imprisoned, tend the sick, give your belongings to the poor, even deny yourself…and not just on Sundays only. Beware. The time is soon upon us. The hour is near. The Master cometh….Even at the door.
You see…normal days are like this: Darkness is turned to light. The blind receive their sight. Wrongs are made right. And hardly anyone is amazed.
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