I can’t believe I have been here only 6 full days! So much has happened, it feels like weeks! And yet at the same time, we have really had a very relaxing week, sometimes wishing we had more to do. Rachel and I spent most of this week just being here at the school, waiting for someone to tell us what we would be teaching, how often, to whom, etc. We finally found that out today, so now we can begin the real work!
Before I left the States, I read a book called “Love Does,”
by Bob Goff (recommended by Rachel!). Since being here, I have pondered the
basic “love does” idea quite often. Rachel and I have many goals and
aspirations for this trip, but the biggest one is to simply love. But love is
not just a feeling. First and foremost, love is action. Love does.
Rachel and I decided to give something to every beggar we
see. People, even Christians, think we’re crazy or weird when we give to the
second or third beggar, but we know that love
does. It doesn’t just say, “Go, be warm and well fed!” It does something. We
wish we could do more, and maybe someday soon we will.
Today, we went to church in a huge metropolitan part of
Beijing. We were there early so that we could ask someone to help us exchange
our US dollars for Chinese RMB. As we came up to the building, I saw foreigner
who I figured would speak English coming out of the service that was finishing.
He had a Chinese wife with him, so I thought he would be the perfect one to
help us. I stopped him and asked if he knew of anyone who could help us
exchange money. He said he didn’t think the banks were open on Sunday. I said I
had been to a bank before on Sunday (my last trip), but that I mostly just
needed someone who could speak Chinese. Someone he knew at the church maybe? He
said, “Sorry, I can’t help you,” and walked away. As Rachel can tell you, I was
stunned. I was ashamed that someone would come out of a church appearing to be
a follower of Jesus, and then take no interest in helping someone else. I am
worried that maybe the love of Jesus is not in that man yet, because he
wouldn’t do anything. And love does.
With that concept still in my mind, Rachel and I went over
to the closest little supermarket with the other foreign teachers (Angela,
Michelle, and Andreas). I wasn’t buying anything, but saw a little girl,
probably 2 or 3 years old, with the 1 Yuan her mother had given to pick out
something. That’s the equivalent of 15 cents. The girl searched and searched in
the candy section, but couldn’t find anything less than 2 Yuan. I knew the Holy
Spirit was telling me to do something. This little girl wasn’t starving, she
wasn’t begging, and getting a piece of candy wasn’t going to change her life.
But maybe a little love would. And love
does. So I bent down and gave her 2 more yuan while her mother was still in
a different section of the supermarket; I didn’t know how to explain it in
Chinese. The girl looked up at me, surprised and confused. I just smiled,
trying to tell her that I wasn’t asking her for anything, she could just have
it. By then, all my friends had checked out, so we left. Rachel and I walked
down into the street market further to find fruits and vegetables. In the
middle of searching for some cucumbers and onions, I heard a little Chinese
person speaking very quickly. I looked up to see that little girl with her
mother pointing at me and holding the piece of candy she had bought. Her mother
brought her over so she could say thank you. I asked for her name, and learned
it was “han han.” Or something like that. Maybe I will see her in the market
again. Maybe we will be friends. Maybe she’ll meet my best friend because she
met Love. And love does.
What can you do?