1989 — V

The darkened room was situated deep in the bowels of the Ministry of Love. Here Rich was again strapped to a chair, so tightly that he could not move. Kirkland slowly came across the room with a black cage. There was something in it, writhing and squirming. As he came closer Rich could see the blunt head and hear the rattle of a rattlesnake. Kirkland slowly began a narrative, “The North American rattlesnake has one of the most lethal poisons of all snakes. There is no way that a person can live after the bite of such a snake....” He continued a monologue about the snake. Rich slowly began to tense as the cage with the snake slowly came closer, but something inside him kept fear from coming. The words from one of the Psalms came to mind: “The Lord is my shepherd,/I shall not want,...” (Psalm 23:1) As he began to pray through that Psalm he began to relax. All that mattered now was seeing his King. Soon it would be over. He closed his eyes as the rattling came closer.

Then suddenly it seemed that Time itself had stood still. Rich opened his eyes to see Kirkland frozen in place in front of him, his mouth frozen open in the middle of a word. His bonds suddenly had loosened and Rich stood up. “Go quickly,” came a small quiet voice from inside him. He ran through the door and ascended the long stairways. At every turn he expected to be challenged, but no sound came. He continued to run up the stairs. As he passed an open hall he suddenly heard someone call his name. He turned to see Anita running towards him. Her face looked puffy from the beatings she had taken, but an inner light radiated from her, giving her a beauty he had never noticed before. A moment later she was in his arms, kissing him.

“I missed you so much,” she said.

“Me, too,” he said, smiling. “But I had this dream and I saw you in it.”

“You did, too?” she asked incredulously. “Was it about a battle and a Great Warrior?” Rich just nodded. “I was there, too, Rich,” she said, putting her head on his shoulder.

“I know,” he said. They held each other for a moment longer. “We’ve got to get out of here,” he then said, and hand-in-hand they ran from the darkened halls of the building out into the sunlit world.

• • •

As they walked the streets of Washington, they could see that the people were in the middle of Hate Week. Rich felt something growing inside him, an urge to speak to these people. Some of them recognized him and began chanting his name. More joined in until the whole crowd was calling his name. A large swath opened, letting Rich and Anita walk to the podium. The speaker there stepped aside and let Rich take his place. Anita stood next to Rich, holding his hand. Rich looked over the crowd, as the words began to come to him.

“You are probably expecting me to give you a rousing speech on behalf of the Party,” he began. “Well, I can’t do that anymore. I have found something greater in my life that demands more attention than the Party. Many of you would condemn me for what I am going to tell you, but I must say it anyway. I have come to believe that God is real.” A murmur went through the crowd. “I also know that we are in the middle of Hate Week. I want to tell you about something that will make this a week of love. This God I will tell you about is greater than any Party could ever be. And, unlike Big Brother, He is real. If you don’t believe me, just look at me. I have just come from the Ministry of Love. I had been interned there for believing in God and He rescued me from the hands of the people there.” He paused, another thought coming to his mind.

“You know something, the Ministry of Love should really be called the Pit of Hatred. So also the other ministries must be renamed. The Ministry of Peace should be the Ministry of Death, the Ministry of Plenty should be called the Ministry of Poverty, and the Ministry of Truth is really the Ministry of Lies. The Party claims it controls the past and deifies Big Brother, but I know that it doesn’t. I came to believe in God because of a simple book that I acquired in a small store in the prole district. This book lead me and my wife to the Truth and we have learned what it is to really be in Christ. Let me tell you of what this book says.” He continued to tell the remarkable story of how God became man and died for mankind. The speech finally ended in a call to accept this new Lord as a personal savior. Many thousands knelt at that call as a new revival spread across the city and from that city to the nation and into the world. And through the willingness of one man to follow his true King the stranglehold of the Party was broken and the true Light came to shine on mankind.