In the life-altering limitations of coronavirus, there are remarkable gifts to be found. That’s nothing new for Christians, who serve a God who took on flesh and subjected himself to the bounds of time and space. Indeed, we believe true freedom is found only in the constraints of love, obedience and service. Christianity Today ran an article yesterday in which I share reflections on the unique opportunities to be found in today’s biting limitations. It was titled by the editors, “The Case for Sheltering in Place Without Screens.”
The novel A Gentleman in Moscow tells of Count Alexander Rostov. As communists tighten control of Russia in 1922, Rostov’s aristocratic blood virtually guarantees he’ll be executed. But during his trial, the Court recalls a poem Rostov wrote years before on behalf of the working class. Rostov’s life is spared, but he is sentenced to spend the rest of his days confined to Moscow’s Metropol Hotel. If ever seen beyond its walls, he’ll be shot on site.
And so Rostov embarks on a lifetime of limitation. The man who previously ventured across continents now cannot walk to the corner market. Accustomed to soaring ceilings, he now resides in a cramped attic.
Yet day by day, a marvel unfolds. Rostov doesn’t only survive. Amid the constraints of his new life, he thrives. He forges deep friendships and grows beyond himself. He loves and is loved. He transforms others’ lives and is himself transformed. One cannot help suspecting that three decades of boundedness did not shrink Alexander Rostov. If anything, limitation made his life larger.
Like most of us, the boundaries of my own life have grown much smaller in recent days.
Read the full article at Christianity Today.