The Journey 128
Read: 1 Samuel 20
A diplomatic crisis seems to be brewing between China and US, even as the secretary of state Hilary Clinton is scheduled to meet her counterparts in Beijing later this week. It concerns about a person named Chen Guangchen. But who is this Chen Guangchen?. Chen Guangchen is blind human right activist and a lawyer. His story can be a script taken out from a hit Hollywood movie. He could not read nor write till the age of 20, but today he has not only taught himself to read and write but he has also learnt Chinese law. He used his legal skills to defend the victims of government oppression like poor peasants, the disabled, and women who were forced to have abortions in a country which had a one child policy. It was his opposition to the forced sterilization policy of the government that seems to have made him an enemy of the state. He was arrested and convicted and after four years in jail, he was placed under house arrest. He could not communicate with anyone. But Chen did not resign to his fate. He digged a tunnel, and, finally, on April 22, he escaped. The escape was so well planned that his captors did not know that he had escaped until the following days. He then he slowly made his way, through series of safe houses and with the help of fellow dissidents, to Beijing and, eventually, the U.S. Embassy. Today he is hiding as he is not sure what his fate is. It is believed that he may be in one of the safe houses or in one of the rooms of the US embassy in Beijing. What is strange and remarkable about Chen is that he is blind and what motivates him in his human right activities is his Christian faith. The world is looking whether the issue of Chen will be discussed or not between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her counterparts in Beijing. It is from the Word of God especially from the book of Proverbs 21:3, “to do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” that Chen takes his inspirations for his fight for the poor and the underprivileged. Here is a person who fights for the cause of others, undertakes risk for the welfare of others, and through that finds his vision in life. This is what transformed living is all about.
This week we are meditating on the theme “Transformation in my personal life” based on the life of David and Jonathan from 1 Samuel. Today the portion taken for meditation is 1 Samuel 20. Both David and Jonathan have come to a realization that there is something wrong between Saul and David, and that Saul is plotting against David, may be with the intention of killing David. 1 Samuel: 20, is a beautiful description of how Jonathan the son of Saul hatches a wonderful plan to help David escape with his life and at the same time thwart the evil designs of his father. In v: 18-24 we will find the detailed description of the plan…...like shooting of the arrows …… Jonathan bids farewell to David with a covenant that “The Lord is witness between you and me forever”. Finally because of the wise planning of both these friends David escapes but the Saul is furious at his son Jonathan who now understands that his father truly intend to kill his friend, and he is ashamed of his fathers behavior. [ 1 Samuel 20: 34]. Here is a story of two youths whose friendship terms is like that of the covenant, who decides to risk their life for the sake of friendship, for the sake of justice and for the sake of their commitment to the Lord. I can understand when one takes risk for the welfare of ones own being and ones need, but both David and Jonathan through their actions teaches us that life is all about taking risk not only for our personal needs but also to risk and also fight and standing for the rights of others who are powerless against the forces of evil in the society. Let us think– Have we ever been able to risk ourselves so that we could stand at the side of justice?