“Forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Forgiveness is so hard. As I read the letters written by the persecuted saints of the Chinese underground Church  — both the arrested and their families — and reflect back on the on-going trials our brothers and sisters have faced over the years, I can only say the Father’s love, which results in His forgiveness, is really beyond our comprehension. “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Do I have the same heart to extend the same mercy if it’s me who is mistreated in such ways?

I encourage you to read the letter written by Pastor Wang Yi that I have posted previously. Meanwhile, check out Brent Pinkall‘s facebook if you want to keep updated with English posts. Some of the letters written by the wife of Elder Li made me cry.

In another letter issued by the church pastored by Wang Yi, the hymn written by Watchman Nee, who was persecuted by his faith decades ago, was quoted:

Let me love and not be respected;
Let me serve and not be rewarded;
Let me labor and not be remembered;
Let me suffer and not be regarded.

‘Tis the pouring, not the drinking;
’Tis the breaking, not the keeping—
A life suff’ring to seek others’ blessing,
A life loving and true comfort giving.

Not expecting pity or concern,
Not accepting solace or praise;
Even lonely, even forgotten;
Even wordless, even forsaken.

Tears and blood for the righteous crown
My price shall be; losing all,
My cost for a faithful pilgrim’s life.
’Twas the life, O Lord, that You chose to live
In those days when on earth You walked,
Gladly suff’ring all injuries and loss
So that all might draw near and repose.

I cannot see how much farther I shall go;
Still I press on, knowing there is no return.
Let me follow Your pattern, so perfect and true,
Bearing all gratefully without complaint.

In this time of trial, O my Lord,
I pray that You would wipe my hidden tears away;
Let me learn, O Lord, You are my reward;
Let me be others’ blessing all my days.

I pray that our love will not grow cold for our brothers and sisters as well as the world. Remember those who are in prison. Suffer with them as we are one body.

One thought on ““Forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

  1. Thank you for writing this Keri. I don’t know this happened until I saw your post. As you know, these information is blocked and we can not hear or read this in the sociol media in China. The persucution is real and we can’t pretend that it’s not there. Glad that somebody points this out and give a place for us to face and rethink about this unpleasant issue. I also read an article wrriten by Wang Yi called 宗教战争沉思录 after reading your post, it sheds further light on the relationship between Christians and the government. You can find this article by the Wechat Subscriptions searching window if you are interested in it.

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