Welcome, Readers! David Telbat here. Thank you for joining us today for “Handling Tragedy: Lessons from China.”
The book, 1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies, contains claims that would humble early Europeans boasting of their own discoveries. But I’ve been distracted by the direction China took after tragedy struck their empire in 1421.
[I need to insert a disclaimer here: this book was/is highly controversial, many claiming it as a “sheer work of fiction” or a “hypothesis,” and that there’s no proof for the claims made. I don’t know; it may be a mixture of fact and fiction. But, in doing research for my writing, I found a spiritual truth and would like to proceed, treating the info as fact for the sake of my lesson. :)]
In 1421, China was on top of the world economically, scientifically, and medically. By 1423, the Treasure Fleet’s capital ships (measuring 480 ft x 180 ft) landed on both east and west coasts of the Americas. Tribute from Madagascar to Korea flowed into the Forbidden City of Beijing.
In May 1421, a lightning bolt struck the top of the Forbidden City’s palace. Much of it was destroyed, and the catastrophe and deaths contributed to new edicts proclaimed by the emperor, Zhu Di.
The fire was interpreted as anger from “the God of Heaven.” The globetrotting armadas were recalled. Foreign dignitaries were expelled. For a time, even speaking a foreign language was illegal. Confucian values surfaced anew, and the focus of all manner of life turned internal, closed off from the rest of the world.
Many of us have experienced tragedy. In the midst of the “fire,” we’re tempted to turn inward and possibly even disown those who’ve stood by us. Maybe something instinctive tells us to close the door to relationships and stand alone, sometimes in self-pity. After all, no one else can understand the pain and sadness we’re experiencing.
That reaction to tragedy may be our first instinct, but it isn’t our best choice of reactions.
I’m reminded of when Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. They were badgered by enemies even while they laid brick. But Nehemiah told his people, “When hardship is upon you, sound the trumpet, and those nearest will rally around you—and God will fight for us!”
Turning inward may seem to be the key, but we must remember to sound the trumpet and watch God teach us and build us up from our tragic circumstances. We certainly don’t want to become a “lone island,” as did China.
See you in the field!
Thank you for joining us for, “Handling Tragedy: Lessons from China.” Find other Author Reflections by D.I. Telbat here.
COMING UP: Read about D.I. Telbat’s latest Novel Update News here.
NOTE: All five books, plus the Prequel, of The COIL Series are NOW AVAILABLE! Visit The COIL Series page for links to where you can find this Suspenseful Fiction with a Faith Focus!