Books have the power to humble and inspire and remind us. I realize other mediums have this power as well, but books for me are like oatmeal: they stick and nourish deeper than the temporary memories left from films and photos.
While in Toronto this week, while learning about my profession at the AAPA International Conference, I got to read. While attending lectures about Vitamin D, about birth control, about cervical cancer, and the Affordable Healthcare Act, I had a friend who came with me, a book-friend. I got to read Chai Ling's A Heart for Freedom in respites between lectures and at night in my hotel room. Back in January I got to shake Chai Lings hand when she spoke at the Students for Life of America Conference. I hadn't heard of her until this year but had heard of her nonprofit All Girls Allowed. I finally got her book at the library right before I left for my trip. And I got to know her.
She's just one of people, like Brother Yun, whose story is so compelling that it borders on fictional. She is a real person, though, I met her, just like I've met Brother Yun. These are both real Chinese Christians who cannot go back to their homeland because of their great boldness. Bold leaders, exiled from their country, headed to heaven as soon as their Lord calls, and RIGHT NOW doing His work! I am in awe that I am contemporary with such heroes!
Yun taught me about prayer in a time when I needed it most. Ling is teaching me about motherhood and healing in a time when I need it most. The Chinese church will always enthrall me because the stories I hear from her sound like stories only my God can create. When Ling was in college she met a student who went traveling in the countryside and came upon a village whose inhabitants were all illiterate yet owned a copy of the Bible. The village deduced that that this student could read and so he spent two days straight reading the Bible. Why are stories from the Chinese church so charged with miracles and great stories? I want to meet these believers.
Ling had four abortions, three of which were forced. She has been healed from the trauma and the pain because of her Great Savior. When I saw Ling speak, despite all her great successes in life, she spoke only of a Great Savior, the one who will end forced abortions in China.
Ling describes lucidly that post-abortive women do not need to hear, "Come to God; he will forgive you," but "come to God, he will love you, heal you, and free you."
I know I'll never be like my sister in Christ Chai Ling, I'll never have her incredible business acumen and ability to move a crowd with great leadership, but we share the most important thing in common: We Follow Jesus. And we share the second most important thing: a heart for mothers.
Thanks, Ling, for a being a great friend!