Safely Home: An inspiration in difficult times
Your book, Safely Home, has served as an inspiration to me. As I read about the Li family riding their bikes to a secret service in the middle of the night, just to talk about Christ and read God’s Word, the events of 9/11 came flooding back.
It was September 11, 2001. “Come on, we need to go,” said my mom in a worried voice as she ushered me out of the building. I was in third grade, and we were being dismissed from school early. I heard people talking about a plane crashing and how we all needed to get away from large buildings. Why is everyone afraid of a little plane crashing? I didn’t understand that this was an intentional attack until I got home. My whole family sat in the living room, like refugees in an underground bunker, watching the replays of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers, too shocked to be afraid. I didn’t understand completely at that time, but I still felt a burning anger inside me that terrorists would slaughter others, just because we are a Christian nation. I also saw a video of children from the Middle East celebrating the attack. I had never seen such hatred, and I was greatly disturbed that they found joy in the death of others.
I always considered America the “safe” country, where you could practice any religion you wanted. However, not only was my religion attacked, but our safety was in jeopardy. The attack had already cost the lives of thousands of Americans. What could be next? I remembered how the rumble of every airplane brought people to their windows and out onto the front porch. Peering into the clouds, they knew that the average plane could be the next missile of death. The threat of attack was very real and near. We were just innocent people quietly living our lives, just like Li Quan and his family.
Li Quan always had to be on the lookout for danger. If he was caught with an unmarked Bible, or doing something Christian based, he would immediately be arrested, or possibly lose his life. Men from the Chinese police were always watching him. He never knew when they would storm his house, search his things, or make an arrest. He did the things he knew was right, even though he went up against a seemingly all-powerful foe: the Chinese Government.
As I watched the images of hatred during 9/11, I realized that my faith was not as safe as I thought it was. The persecution was nearer than ever before. If America ever becomes an anti-Christian country, I hope my faith will be as strong as Li Quan’s. When he was in prison, he didn’t have much contact with the other prisoners. So, he volunteered to clean the nauseatingly dirty cells. Although the story is fiction, I know people like Li Quan do exist in China and other countries. Li Quan knew God did everything for a reason, and he used the opportunity to share the Gospel with the other prisoners. I want to live my life to serve Christ and follow Li Quan’s example during any kind of persecution.
Understanding the risks he was taking, Li Quan continually asked himself, “Is this the day I die?” He was prepared to meet Christ at every moment of every day. Instead of living for things of this world, I should be living everyday like it’s my last. Li Quan’s example has helped me to see that I should store up treasures in Heaven, instead of on earth. I realize that I could have been one of the people who died on 9/11. I also need to ask myself, “Am I prepared to meet God today?” because we never know where or when they might attack again.
Li Quan was focused on sharing the gospel and serving despite the consequences it held. Your book has served me, not only in reminding me of the past, but also guiding the way I live in the present. Thank you for writing this amazing book. It has helped me in my walk with God and has shown me that I need to serve Christ, no matter what the circumstances.