What is the real treasure in our lives? We should be able to tell by how we treat it/them – BTW I’m doing this post in Five Minutes, unedited.
Last weekend I made a difficult decision. I had come home from work beyond exhausted, and really wanted to settle into a cosy night in. I checked my #FMFparty blog comments… I started to get drawn in to my digital world… And then I looked at the time. 19:15. There was a prayer meeting to go to. Not an ordinary one, but a chance to pray with some North Korean believers now taking refuge in the UK, and to hear their stories.
I knew it would be an inspiring time, but could I pull myself out of the armchair? It was a close call.
Minutes later, I staggered through the building entrance, just as they were starting, and found myself exposed to real-life stories, heard and told first hand, of those who had escaped one of the most spiritually oppressive regimes in the world today. They described how hard it was to become a believer, when they had been saturated from birth in nothing but an atheistic culture, never once being exposed to the Bible.
I heard about the abuse, the recapture, the prison terms. I heard about how recaptured escapees told each other, ‘when you get over the border, look for the place with the cross on it – you’ll find help there’. I heard real depth, emotion, sincerity and urgency in their voices as we prayed and cried out to our Father in heaven for mercy on those still imprisoned.
And I heard about one convert who copied the Bible out by hand at least twice. How, when hiding, they could do nothing more than pray and read their Bibles, not knowing if food would be brought to them or not. It put a whole new meaning on ‘Give us today our daily bread.’
Handwriting the Bible?
Handwriting requires time, real effort. It’s harder than typing, than copying-and-pasting. It requires that the truth go into our minds, and work its way back out through our muscles and fingers. Truly embodying the content. Taking time. Lingering long over each word. Giving it attention and focus. Not just skim-reading.
I’m going to try an experiment. I think I’ll try that for a while, to find out how long it takes me to write it out, really write it out, compared to reading it as fast as I normally do. I’m going to discover for myself what a slow, attentive reading can do. I’m going to experience for myself that sense of presence and true fellowship that being-with the Bible might do, and wonder.
And as I do, I hope I remember my brothers and sisters, wherever they may be, who are trapped in a place where to be a Christian is a death-sentence. Lord, have mercy, and bring freedom.
#write31days (What is Write 31 Days?)