Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Reflections: Chapter 2

A little bit more of what I wrote:

     The day of departure was almost routine. There were the same news reports that there were every day. A few couples had been caught engaging in kalwah without using the zimteff. Sarah was appalled. Sure, it happenned all the time; but her feelings about it never waned. These people should be content to perform GOD'S holy task without attempting to derive unholy pleasures. Several people were also detained for self-stimulation. The penalty for these abominations was death; and Sarah knew further that GOD would pour HIS wrath on their souls. There was just no excuse for such behaviour. From the time of childhood, all subjects were told how important it was to avoid such activities and what the punishment was.
     Sarah could not understand it. This was a nation dedicated to GOD, and yet people still went against his will. Theft and murder were commonplace, even though the eyes of the enforcers were everywhere -- even if some people could not understand that GOD saw everything and would demand an account. What Sarah found truly shocking (and the common people weren't told about this; why give them more reason to try to leave?) was that places without GOD often had much lower rates of these crimes. Clearly, Satan was working night and day because he didn't like the fact that this place was established for GOD.
     It was about 8:30 when Thomas, the leader of the group, came to pick Sarah up. The group walked over to the airport, discussing possible strategies for leading people to the LORD. If you simply walked up to an unbeliever and started talking about GOD, he was likely to walk away. They wanted the people to stay and hear the message. When the group reached the airport, Sarah was awestruck. Never before had she seen that many enforcers in one location. She wondered how many people actually tried to leave the country without authorization. The members of the Awakening Group presented their passes to the main enforcer and waited while he checked them. Apparently satisfied, the main enforcer called over three other enforcers who escorted the group to the plane.
     Sarah felt positively frightened as they proceeded to the plane. It may have been due to the fact that the enforcers didn't speak. Oh, the lead enforcer said "Follow me," at the outset and "This is your plane," when they arrived; but during the walk, the only sounds she heard were the footsteps of the group and the marching in the background. Even though she knew that the enforcers were only doing their job in protecting the area, she could not get rid of the uncomfortable feeling of fear. Actually arriving at the plane was a relief. Soon they would be in a new land, preparing to spread the WORD.
     The flight itself was short and unmemorable; but the group had landed safely in the Progressive States. The first thing that Sarah noticed was that most of the people were underdressed. She had already known that people here had turned their backs on GOD; but she didn't expect them to be so shameless. As the group left the airport, Sarah noticed that there were still very few people around. Strangely, she had not noticed any enforcers in the airport at this end. She decided they must just operate in a less conspicuous manner here. She wondered how far the restricted area went. It was a significant concern; she did not know what would happen if the group remained here longer than permitted. At last she saw a woman in what looked like an official's uniform. That might be one of the enforcers in this country. She went up to her and asked how far the restricted area went and explained that the group might need to be escorted to the nearest common area so that the members didn't overstay their eligibility in this place.
     The official looked at Sarah. This made Sarah feel intimidated. Time seemed to stand still and Sarah thought she might already be in trouble. Her own country gave some consideration for new visitors (not that they had very many) and the enforcers took time to explain the rules. She hoped that the official would accept that she was new here. Finally, the official said, "This is a public area. Why did you think it was restricted?"
     "There are so few people here. Public areas are usually crowded." This was a public area? That was hard to believe. She had seen people enter the airport without being checked. That would make the airport a public area as well; and that thought just didn't make any sense. She added "How do you keep people from leaving the country without permission?"
     "You must be from the Conservative States. You don't see as many people as you normally do because we have a lower population. Our citizens understand the miseries that come from overpopulation and practice methods of population control. Our birth control methods have been perfected. No one here becomes pregnant by accident. As for keeping people from leaving the country, we don't. Our citizens are free to come and go as they please. Of course, they do need to get passports before leaving so that they can come back in. We do excersize some caution about possible invaders." Sarah remembered that their passports had been checked as they got off the flight. She was starting to wonder if that was the extent of security here.
     "So you don't have restricted areas or strong security? That seems so unlikely." She was completely unprepared for this sort of place.
     "We have restricted areas, primarily military bases and wildlife preserves. We just don't have many of them. We do have sufficient security, however. If your passport had been from a hostile nation, you would have gone through an extensive security check. But we can't become so focused on security that our nation loses its freedom."
     Sarah decided this all seemed bizarre. At this time, though, she had nothing further to say. The Awakening Group was going to need to organize itself before the members would be ready to start leading people to CHRIST. As Sarah left, she felt there was something else wrong with the people here, something more than what she could already identify. Whatever it was, it would have to wait.
     Thomas consulted his instructions and the group went to the designated house. The landlord was waiting for them. She looked as though she had been growing impatient, but she greeted the group members with a friendly voice. She walked them through the house informing them it was to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. Sarah thought the kitchen was a useful size in which to prepare meals. The four bedrooms were rather small. The living room was comfortable, and had an interactive viewing screen for news and entertainment. The two bathrooms and the laundry room were compact but functional. When the landlord was finished taking them through the house, she demonstrated how to use the key card and asked if there were any questions.
     Thomas asked where the delivery box was.
     The landlord replied, "Delivery box?" She seemed unfamiliar with the idea.
     Thomas explained, "Yes, when you buy food, clothing, or other items, they are dropped off in the delivery box -- usually a week or two later."
     "Oh, we don't have that sort of thing here. You can take your purchases straight home from the store. I would recommend buying a personal cart or something to make transporting your goods easier."
     Next, Martin commented, "I must say; I'm impressed. I couldn't even see the enforcement cameras." During training, Martin had claimed to be able to see the cameras. Sarah and the other trainees had never been able to see anything where he had pointed to indicate a camera. She was sure he had been making it all up. Sure, everyone knew that there were cameras; but the enforcers would never make it possible for anyone to be able to tell where they were just by sight.
     The landlord looked absolutely horrified. "There are no 'enforcement cameras' on the premises. They would be a clear violation of our privacy laws. You can't install cameras in someone else's home without permission."
     This didn't make any sense in Sarah's mind. If people left the stores with their purchases, they could buy things not allowed for their class. (It was well known that any store would check authorization for the purchases prior to making the deliveries.) Without the cameras, there would be nothing to ensure that people's actions stayed holy. (True, GOD was still watching; but that was a surprisingly small deterrent for many people.) She expressed her objections to the landlord.
     The landlord seemed outright dismissive. "I don't know where you learned those ideas, but we have no such restrictions. As long as a product is legal, any adult may buy it. This idea of restricting people's actions by 'class' sounds dreadful. We certainly have no concern with 'holiness.' Our laws deal primarily with harming or endangering people, animals, or property. If someone is harmless, we think that the government should leave them alone."
     Sarah could not believe this. Harmless? Unholy acts caused people to go into eternal torment!! That was more harmful than anything imaginable. This place needed an Awakening more than she had previously thought. The group in which she was placed had an enormous task ahead and was going to have to set up quickly. While she unpacked, Sarah could think of nothing but the work which lay ahead of them. She was so eager to get started that sleep did not come easily that night.

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