Times this morning that got my attention (I'm on the warpath today!), "Couple Held in China Are Free, but 'Even Now We Live Under a Cloud.' "
It's about a couple, Kevin and Julia Garratt (not Garrett -- Honorable Mention for Name of the Day), who got accidentally involved in a "Spy vs. Spy" story involving China and Canada.
The story is mildly interesting, but I had an entirely different takeaway. The article said the Garratts (my emphasis):
...lived in China on and off for 30 years, raising their four children there and moving the family from Vancouver to Dandong, a gritty city on the North Korean border, in 2007. Mr. Garratt said he had wanted to address the suffering of those living across the border by providing aid to orphanages and a school for the disabled in North Korea.
That's admirable, to be sure, but aren't there people "suffering" within, say, a hundred miles or so of the Garratts' hometown? Did they really need to go halfway around the globe to help people? Or is there more to it than that? The piece calls the couple "Canadian Christian aid workers" (my emphasis) which implies to me, at least, that they were doing some missionary work as well. You know, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The story concludes with this paragraph (again, my emphasis):
Most of all, the Garratts feel grief at losing the lives they built over 30 years. “That’s the sadness that overwhelms us,” Mr. Garratt said. “We were just trying to help people in need. That’s all we did.”
Well, if that's all the Garratts were doing, couldn't they -- once again -- have done that in Vancouver? Or were they also evangelizing to the poor, ignorant heathen of China? You know what I mean: the Garratts think they have found The Truth somehow and just feel compelled to tell everyone else. And that probably irritated the Chinese authorities. After all, China has existed in some form or other for over four thousand years and many of the people there, I'd wager, feel they've done just fine, thank you very much, without Christianity for much of that time. Maybe the locals resented the fact that the Garretts had The Truth and were bugging everyone there to accept their version of it. Seriously, what is it about people who think that not only is their unique worldview correct, but it's also very important -- imperative, even -- for them to see that everyone else thinks exactly the way they do? Can't people just say, "I think I've got this whole reality thing figured out and I'll share it with you if you'd like, but, if not, that would be cool, too"?