Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How would your Christian friends and acquaintances describe you?

by Doug Nichols

My wife and I have enjoyed reading one of the best biographies we have ever read. It is an old book that was first published in 1900 entitled, Pastor Hsi by Mrs. Howard Taylor. Near the end of the book, she describes a pastor of a Christian refuge ministry to opium addicts. The Refuge later became a church with over 200 men who had trusted Christ, as well as their wives and families.

This is how Mrs. Taylor described Pastor Sung as she and her husband were at a meeting at the Refuge:

Here from the doorway of the women's room we can see to better advantage, and it is not quite so hot as in the kitchen. What a bright,interesting scene it is. Such greetings, laughter, friendly conversation; such busy preparations for the meal! Mats are spread under the awning, upon which, grouped around little tables, the older men are seated; and the rest, supplied with basins and chopsticks like ourselves, sit comfortably on the ground, or perch on the steps of the side houses.

And there, in the midst of them all, under the spreading vine, is dear old Pastor Sung, manager of the Refuge, and spiritual father of almost everyone in this large company.

What a picture he makes, surrounded as with a halo by their loving reverence, seated on that low wooden bench, with the flowers behind him and the cool green leaves overhead, his face all aglow as he looks from one to another of his large, happy family. Dear old man; small, spare, and stooping, with a little whitey-brown queue, and a strongly marked, benevolent face: dear old wonderful man, who, without learning or special gifts, simply by the power of the Holy Spirit in his loving heart, has drawn all these to Jesus―he is worth coming to China to see.

This is one of the most moving descriptions of a godly man that we have ever read. I can hardly wait to get to heaven to meet Pastor Sung and Pastor and Mrs. Hsi.

Would someone be able to write a similar description of you? I think of Matthew 5:16, Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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