Saturday, November 15, 2008

I was inspired.

Tonight I was inspired.

I have been fighting the symptoms of the flu today, so after my Saturday classes this morning, I have been home resting, trying to sleep, and fight it off with vitamins, herbs, and water. My Mom has trained me well!

After being cooked a simple dinner by my dear roommate Sammy, I crawled into bed with my heavy head and aching body to watch the 1958 movie, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, a story based off the life of missionary Gladys Aylward. As I watched this old movie, with the old view of China, now so changed in our 21st century, I smiled, a bit tearfully, in humble sympathy. A stubborn, independent, visionary woman, leaves her home of England by herself, for an unknown land, not knowing the language, not knowing what will happen, to share love with it's people - true, honest, genuine love.

She walks through life seeing only children -- not complicated or cruel. Just dirty ones needing to be washed, fed, and loved.

Though I'm sure this movie is an overly dramatized version of the true story (one I now commit to read!), I felt her tears, her frustrations, her disappointments, her heartbreaks, her joys, her successes. The impact she made throughout northern China, the people she connected with, the lives she touched and saved in so many ways, is absolutely inspiring. I don't know how much of the movie's rendition is accurate, but if it is, it leaves me speechless at her courage, her bravery, her perseverance, her commitment, her dedication, her love. I want to love the beautiful people of my modern day China like that. It's not as easy, I'm not a remote village, but the potential is equally as great.

Sammy asked me tonight if I will stay in China. She has asked me that many times since I came. I told her I do not know. There is much at this time that would make me consider staying longer: the kids, the future of the school, continued learning of the language, planting my roots firmer in this community of people, consistent pay. But there is much at home that draws me back as well. I do not know. All I know is right now I am being called to China, to Rong Chang Hope School, to Shantou. The rest of up to Him.

A life that is planned is a closed life, my friend. It can be endured perhaps, but it cannot be lived.

Thank you, Gladys Aylward, for inspiring this one, young, American girl similarly walking in your footsteps so many years later. Your life, your testimony, brings tears to my eyes, courage to my heart, and hope to my soul.

Sometimes I think my life really started in China.
I think this journey was meant for me.

Thank you.

1 comment:

addiemerder said...

hang in there.... everything will work itself out... get well soon!