Let me begin to say, God is such a wonderful person in my life. He has done so much in my life here in China. And, last night, He used me again. I was contacted on email from an American in Korea. He is gay. He is divorced from his wife. And, he is wrestling with his sexuality. I know many of my “Christian” friends think homosexuality and Christianity is an oxymoron statement. But, I am not making this a debate in my journal. I am tired of trying to defend and explain the differences of who I am versus what I am. I am tired of trying to defend my faith in God and how He chooses to allow me to live my life. But, I will always defend my love of God and I will never deny who God made me to be in this life. Don’t like it? Then you can leave my life anytime you want. Those who know me can testify to what I have just proclaimed about my love for God and what kind of man and friend I am.
Instead, I want to focus on the relationship I have with God and how He has constantly used me in China. I do not want to go into all the details of my latest miracle from God with this new friend. But, I will say that God used a social computer network to connect us together. I have sent several lengthy emails to him trying to express God’s love, turning one’s life completely over to God, and developing a relationship with God. Like many Christians, he has gotten so wrapped up in what is socially, politically and religiously correct (SC, PC, RC), that he forgot what God is truly about. LOVE. Pure love. Unmeasured love. A love that we cannot totally understand. That is all that really matters. You can quote all the scriptures and religious tenants all you want. You can try to put people in boxes to rationalize human beings. But, God has no want or need for such things. He just wants us to love Him. And, He wants us to allow Him to love us. As I said, that love is undefinable by our brains. We cannot wrap our minds around such a concept easily.
My faith in God has not increased or decreased since arriving in China. But, it is constantly be reaffirmed to me. Nearly every day I witness His hand in my life. I do find myself thanking God for His many blessing He grants me here in China. In the year I have been here, He gave me the gift of being the harvester, instead of my normal role as sower, three times. He has enriched my life and made this transition into Chinese life so much easier by bringing just the right kind of people into my life. The entire process from the time I was terminated from the YMCA to the time I landed in Beijing (over a year) is all about God’s hand in my life. At the time, it was hard to see how it all was going to play out. But, now that I can be a Monday morning quarterback, it is all too clear how God was there pushing me in the direction He wanted me. And, the miracles, the wonderment, the adventure I have had is all due to God and his blessing on my life.
As I said, my faith in God has neither been strengthened or dwindled here in China. But, I am definitely more aware of His presence in my life here. The other day I was walking to school through the park. I just started talking out loud to God giving Him thanks and talking through some things. I don’t usually do this. In fact, I was not really aware of what I was doing until a Chinese woman rode past me giving me this funny look. I guess it was kind of funny to see me talking to myself, in her perspective. But, I continued to do so. It was comforting and enjoyable to me.
God has given me a passion for children. My entire life has been working with kids. I have helped develop and shape young lives all my life. I cannot be certain, but perhaps all my past experiences working with youth have been to prepare me for the work I am doing here in China. It would not surprise me that God planned this process for my life. All things in God’s time…right? And, he knows our entire life and has it planned for us. I do know, what I am accomplishing would not be possible earlier in my life. The bonds and relationships I am developing with the youth here would never have been this successful and strong in the past. The accomplishments I have with them in the and out of the classroom was not possible in who I was just 10 years ago. I try to be as humble as possible. And, I try to keep my ego limited. So, what I am about to say is not something I take much pride or chest-thumping about. But, I have been told time and again by so many people here that I am the best teacher they have seen. Let me remind you, I have never been or trained to be a professional teacher. My skills have been developed over the 25+ years of working with youth. So, for only being a teacher for a year and have that kind of praise placed upon me, I can only attribute it to God. There is no other explanation for it. I am sure, my non-God believing friends can come up with various explanations. So be it. Just another part of our friendship where we will have to agree to disagree.
Let me finish with one other interesting thing about my new friend from Korea. Perhaps this will blow your socks off. I know it has mine. He is moving back to the USA to begin a new job. His job is in Nashville, Tennessee. His place of work is near my home there. And, if God is making this part of His plan for both of us, it might give a solution to my house issues I am having. I do not know God’s plan for this man. I do not know God’s plan for my life. But, that is very interesting to me. The current renters I have are looking to move from my home. I really did not want to have to deal with the house since I don’t think I would ever move back to Nashville. Since I owe more on my home than what it is worth on the market, I was going to just turn it back over to the bank and be done with it. That was my plan. Maybe that is not in God’s plan. I do not know. Only time will tell how it plays out. My new friend has asked my about churches in the area. My neighbor in Nashville is a gay friendly pastor. And my friend needs this type of guidance in his life right now. I am curious to see if my suspicions of God’s plan come true. If not, it is ok.