Never in Vain! part 2

We pushed our way through the beaded curtain and into the room. There was Grampa Huang, lying on the bed. The grieving family thanked me for coming and then left us alone with him.
Alan spoke first, explaining who I was and why I had come: "Grampa. My teacher has come. He wants to tell you about Jesus."
I was relieved, at least, that Alan spoke that in Mandarin. Of course, I should have known: Grampa was a "scholar": he would know Mandarin. So, I wouldn't have to fumble around with my Hakka at least.
But is there anyone more resistant to the Gospel than an old, tradition-bound Confucian scholar? I glanced around at all the books on the shelves. They filled every wall! For eighty-plus years, Grampa Huang had surrounded himself with Chinese tradition. Tradition that he cherished. Tradition that called the Gospel "yang-jyau" ("the foreign teaching") and the person who brings it "yang-gwei" (foreign devil).
But it was also tradition that could not save him! Had never claimed it could! And right now, this poor man had turned his head toward me and was looking right at me!
"Oh, Lord God help me!" I cried out inside. I didn't have a clue how to do this, or even how to begin. But suddenly the sheer urgency of the situation came flooding over me and so I just sat down next to him, took his hand in mine and started speaking to him in the bluntest of terms.
"Mr. Huang. You don't know me. I know I'm a stranger. But you don't have much time, and there's Someone who can rescue you..."
The dear man just stared back."I know you can't talk, so just listen for a while and let me tell you what I know. And if you agree with what I am saying—if you want me to continue—just nod your head; and if you've heard enough and want me to stop you can squeeze my hand."
I started sharing with him everything I knew. I spoke to him about sin and death and—praise God!—a Savior who has come to rescue us, and the blessed Cross where it happened.
It was deep stuff! I didn't hold back. It was 'foreign' stuff. But to my amazement, he never squeezed my hand. He just kept listening and looking at me.
About halfway through, I detected a faint nod! And as I kept talking, the nod became more evident. And when finally I asked him: "Mr. Huang, would you like to pray with me to give your life to Jesus Christ?"—oh!—the old Confucian nodded then! He seemed to know exactly what he was doing and, together, we prayed the dearest prayer: I verbally and out loud; he nodding just as energetically as he could.
I have never in my life seen anything like this! I'd never seen anyone so open. And that 'openness' I could not explain. It all seemed too easy! Too good to be true. In fact, he seemed to understand too much! After the prayer, I just sat there looking at him, telling myself: "This may not be real. He may just be accommodating me. Nodding to make me feel better. I mean, how could he possibly have understood all of this—a man who has never heard the Gospel in his life?"
I finally decided to just let it go, and leave Mr. Huang in the Lord's hands. Which is where he had been all along!
When I finally got up to leave, I paused in front of those bookshelves and admired his collection. Sure enough: he had them all! All the old Chinese classics were there, many of them rare, string-bound editions with beautiful calligraphy. I love all those old Chinese classics myself; have quite a few on my bookshelves at home.
But, as I was looking through them all, one book in particular just jumped out at me! It was a Bible! Cheap little, old, red-plastic covered thing, with none of the outward beauty of the others; but there it was!
"Alan! Look at this," I said. "Did you know your Grampa had a Bible?" "What? No way! That's impossible!"
"There it is! Looks a little worn too. Look: Gospel of John! Notes in the margin." Alan looked down in amazement at the pages. "I never knew he had that! I wonder who gave it to him?"
Oh! Don't we all!
Praise God! Dear old Mr. Huang had heard my message before! I wasn't bringing anything new! "I sent you to reap where you've not sown before," Jesus said, remember? (Jn 4:35)
Some wonderful, unnamed, faithful believer—just like someone from CCOT!—had, years ago, tried to reach this dear man—did the best he could!—placed a cheap copy of the Bible into his hands, hoping that, somehow, it might do some good!
And, of course, it did! It always will. Because everything you do, dear believer, to reach the lost—even the simplest, most ordinary thing!—will never be in vain!
So, let me say it once again: keep on, dear soldier! Don't grow weary! Do what you can to reach the lost!

See you Sunday. RAS

 

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