You Hold the Rope!

read a wonderful story, in a missions magazine several years ago, about a British missionary doctor, back in the early 1900s. He was serving in a remote little outpost clinic, deep in the heart of China, doing everything he possibly could to help people with their afflictions. 

One of the people he treated was a man who had become almost completely blind by cataracts. 

Perhaps you've never seen anyone with a case that severe. Here in the States, the problem almost always gets treated early and it's a relatively simple procedure; so we rarely see it get that bad. But in remote places where people are sometimes distrustful of medicine, and afraid of surgeries or can't afford surgeries, the problem often just goes untreated. I've seen it a number of times in our own village in Taiwan: poor, sad individuals who are completely blinded, their eyes almost pure white. 

But this particular individual was finally persuaded to take the risk. He made the long journey to the outpost clinic and submitted himself to the "Yang Yi-sheng" ("foreign doctor"). 

The procedure went very smoothly and, in just a matter of weeks, this man was overjoyed at being able to see again, for the first time in many years! The man was very grateful and he thanked the doctor profusely for it. 

But later he did something even greater than that... 

Early the following summer—almost a year had gone by—the young doctor looked up from his work one day to see a large crowd of people making their way down the narrow path that came down from the hillside and cut across the rice paddies. A few minutes later, he started to hear voices: "Yang Yi-sheng!" he heard them cry out. "Lao Yang Yi-sheng" ("dear foreign doctor!") 

The doctor stepped out onto the porch to get a closer look. This 'crowd'—there must have been a dozen or so—was walking that path in single file and, upon closer inspection, they seemed to be tied together, like captives in some conqueror's procession! 

But...they weren't 'captives'! Oh no, anything but! For there at the head of the group, leading the way...was the man whom the doctor had healed! He was holding the end of the rope in his hands and behind him, tethered for their own protection, was the saddest little herd of blind people you've ever seen!   

This incredible man had been so filled with gratitude that he had left his home and gone village-to-village, proclaiming the good news of the healing he'd received. At almost every village, he picked up a person who needed that doctor's healing as well! 

And so here they came; slowly, groping their way, clinging to their rope, determined to get there all the same! 

"I saw from my window that day, the perfect picture of the Christian walk,"  the doctor later observed in a letter sent home. "This dear man was doing what every faithful Christian must do: bring the hurting and the lost and the needy to our Savior." 

Don't you love it?  

In just a few weeks we will celebrate the Lord's Resurrection and the healing we've received through His work on the Cross. Can you go make it known, dear faithful OT? It doesn't take much. We have beautiful things you can hand to a friend or relative or co-worker; you can send out a text or a tweet or a post. But do this! 

Goodness knows the need is great! Who doesn't need this Good News of a Resurrection? Who isn't wrestling with this very issue? Only those who don't age and die! And on what planet can they be found? Who doesn't need to hang on to this rope?

We have lost eight dear ones in our church since January, can you believe it?  Every one of them dear friends of mine and dear saints of Christ! Oh—I know—I tell myself "it's reward time now." But my heart is heavy with it, all the same; and there's nothing more precious to me than this news: that our Savior arose so as to raise us up too! 

Start praying dear ones! You hold the rope! Who are you going to reach out to this Easter Week? Who are you going to bring, as Jesus commanded us to do: 

"Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my House may be full." 

Lk 14: 23

God bless you, dear ministers! 



See you Sunday. RAS

Einstein's "Fudge"