The Pressure

Constance was eager to take charge of the No Entry mandate. She called in her staff. “Get the research done. Get a list of non-compliance. You’re churches,” she said, pointing to one staff member and then taking her finger around the room. “You’re schools. You’re small businesses. You’re corporations. You’re venues. Everyone gets a list compiled and makes a recommendation on the best targets for closing down, whatever will have the best impact in the media.”

Joshua was out on one of his walks one day when he spotted Maggie Malone and her news crew along with a police van in front of their local sandwich shop. The door was being sealed shut. The police placed a sign on the door that read, “Closed for non-compliance.”

A man with short-cropped hair stood in a butcher’s apron with jaw clenched, hands on his hips, and feet firmly planted in a wide stance.

Maggie turned from the camera and asked the man, “Why did you choose not to put up a scanner?”

“Our shop is open to everyone. We will not discriminate.”

“Now, it’s closed to everyone because you refused to help the good guys feel safe. Do you regret your decision?”

“No,” but he couldn’t say more than that.

Maggie waved to the camera, and they got a shot of a handful of kids playing in their yard.

Speaking to the camera, Maggie continued, “This is a family-owned and operated business. The DiAngelo family lives behind the store that they have run here for more than a decade. To not turn some away, they are now turning everyone away. It’s proving not to be a good business model to want as many customers as possible. Their greed in wanting to get as many people in the door as they could has come back to bite them. Like the rest of America, we don’t need everyone; we only want the best.”

Maggie spotted Joshua, but he took off running before she could speak with him. He didn’t trust her reporting and didn’t think she would use anything he said to help the family. He knew the DiAngelo family. They were anything but greedy. Joshua prayed as he ran, “Father, take care of them. Make a way for that family to live through this.” Joshua remembered the extensive family tree on the wall of their shop and smiled, thinking they had lots of family to help take care of them. It wasn’t long before they sold their shop with the house and moved to their hunting cabin in the mountains.

The real point of the closures was to pressure those not in the system to get scanned. They couldn’t enter any public building. They couldn’t get a driver’s license or pick up a book from the library. They couldn’t get on an airplane or into a hospital.

As more businesses were shut down, including churches, there were official reports as well as increasing rumors of people getting arrested and sent to FEMA camps. They were called domestic terrorists, but the phrase was never clearly defined. They were just people the system had labeled as threats.

Any post on social media, what church you attended, what places and websites you visited, what videos you watched, it was all tracked and reflected on your safety record. Any Christian could easily be labeled extreme and hateful for loving God’s word and loving people according to God’s word.

Joshua knew he was considered extreme in his beliefs, a threat.