Friday, January 9, 2015

Seedling of love

By His grace, now I am serving among refugees from some "unpopular" countries.

Before I believed Jesus Christ, I was so afraid of the people from these countries. Just hearing of its names made me shiver. In Tokyo, there was a park where these people often gathered. So, of course, I avoided going around this area. But when Christ came into my life, everything has changed. My view of people has changed, though not suddenly but gradually.

The Lord started to teach me gently and He stripped off various bias and prejudices which I had possessed, from my heart. I realized that racial, national (or even denominational) prejudice really hindered me from understanding other people and cherishing his/her real value as a human for whom Christ died.

I confess to you with a heart of repentance that I had a prejudice toward Americans before. But now Jesus forgave me and put me new heart toward American people. I realize that Jesus calls people by their names. He did not categorize people by profession or ethnic group. He did not call “Hey, tax collector” but gently called his name Zacchaeus (Luke19:5). And He called, “Peter!”, “Mary!” and “Martha!” 

Human is a deep being. Each person has his/her own unique history which has immeasurable depth. In front of the glorious temple of Solomon, Israel people stood with a sense of awe and reverence. Now the Lord’s people are His temple. So I want to see my brothers and sisters with the same sense of awe and reverence. I want to see the sprout of hope in each person.

Now by His amazing plan, I live in the midst of these people, the very people whom I used to fear and avoid. I eat with them daily, speak with them, rejoice with them and cry with them. And I see their sufferings. Indeed, living without Christ is a great suffering. I know this from my own experience.

In order for me to be saved, many Christians poured their hearts for me and showed their sincere love to me. They did not preach to me but loved me. They did not criticize my previous religion but simply testified Jesus by their very lives. So I want to do the same to these people. I want to plant a little seedling of flower in their hearts. The dream of Anne of Green Gables is my dream as well; 

"I'd like to add some beauty to life," said Anne dreamily. "I don't exactly want to make people KNOW more...though I know that IS the noblest ambition...but I'd love to make them have a pleasanter time because of have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn't been born." (Anne of Avonlea)

The testimony of the Gospel is like a torch. It has been passed on from one soul to another over the centuries. For the last hundreds of years, many western missionaries have sacrificed their lives for the sake of unsaved souls in Asia, Africa and Middle East. Many Christians have prayed for their salvation as well. Thanks to their efforts and love, people like me and my husband are now in the arms of Christ. 

How can we then express our thanks to them? I believe, by carrying the Gospel message and passing on the torch of the testimony to another, we can truly make them pleased and make Him pleased.