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Topic: Learning for Life (08/23/04)
TITLE: Learning to Hide the Word
By Brenda Kern
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I sit down to do my daily review before I begin memorizing a new section. I know that what I'm doing is critical to the survival of the Faith, but the process is so tedious! Sometimes I struggle to concentrate, and my thoughts stray...
I'm risking my life, you know. Possession of a Bible, or any part of a Bible, was declared a felony offense in the "Bible Ban" Act of 2035, and the sentences imposed have become steeper and steeper in the twelve long years since then. Just last year the Supreme Court considered the first case asking them to expand the legal definition of "possession" to include memorized passages. They struck it down, for now, but it's only a matter of time before I and all of the Learners become wanted fugitives, hunted down like animals.
In the early 2030's, those keeping the Faith who showed an aptitude for memorization were asked to commit assigned parts of the Bible to memory, to become Learners. Some memorize chapters, some learn books, a few memorize the entire Old Testament or New Testament, and just a handful of us from each language group globally committed to the huge task of learning the entire Bible by heart, verbatim.
We live underground, with our contraband Bibles and just enough food brought to us daily to survive. For safety's sake, we move every two months to a new location, and I do not know any information about other members of the Faith Network, especially Learners, so that I can't reveal anything during "focused interrogation," today's euphemism for torture. I've heard rumors of what happens when a Learner is captured, and I can only hope that the rumors aren't true.
Or pray that I'm never captured! I think about the possibility with a shudder, and realize that my mind has wandered from the task at hand. Today's new section is from the Psalms, Psalm 119. Reading about David's love for God's word spurs me on, and I grab onto a renewed sense of how important this project is.
How will future generations know about God, or the coming of Jesus, or prepare for the second coming of Jesus, if they don't have His word? Print copies, or any tangible forms of the Scriptures, are becoming rare. The enemies of the Faith are gaining strength daily, marshalling their resources in their effort to "free" the world from the "stain" of religion.
Why didn't the Christians in the previous generations see this coming? Why didn't they do anything? Their failure to have foresight put their descendants into a terrible situation, because now our freedoms are gone and we must struggle to be believers.
I sigh and convince myself to shake off that old sense of bitterness and abandonment, and then set my attention to today's work. I must hide the Word in my heart and mind, and I must stay alive to deliver it to my descendants. This is my calling, and this is what I will do, no matter what.
I'm learning the Word, so that others might have Life.
August 19, 2004