Seeking Wisdom

It had been almost six months since I had heard from a particular student, when she had messaged me to ask what "walleye fry" meant.  (Why she needed to know this, I do not know.)

And then she started a new conversation.  Defying all conventions of normal ways to begin a new conversation, she threw a full paragraph at me that was crammed with words like regret and sins and forgive and acquittal.  (Yes, her English is good.)

Being ever-eloquent, I sent her back an emoji making a questioning face, because that was the face I would have been making at her if she had started a conversation like that in real life.

So she clarified.  I wonder how to act.  the past is heavy and I cant help feeling weak.

And I thought, Oh, child, you are so ready for the gospel.

Chinese culture, no less than American culture, promotes a pulling-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps "gospel."  And it's a lie that plays into human hubris so beautifully that it's very powerful.  When I find my students realizing that ultimately, they aren't enough, it gives me hope.

We shot messages back and forth for a while longer, words somehow passing around the earth in a second or two.  My mind and heart were full of Paul's agonized words in Romans 7, of how he struggled with himself.  You know I am a Christian, right? I asked her, because how can such a conversation continue otherwise?  To talk about forgiving means talking about being forgiven.

It got late.  I needed to get to bed so I could go to work this morning.

Near the end of our conversation, she said, Wisdom wont come if I keep standing like this instead of trying hard to find it.

And then all I could think of were the many verses in Proverbs, of how wisdom calls.  Of how wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord.  I sent her one last question:  how can you find wisdom?

She tells me she will read the Bible first.

And my heart is full.

Full of wonder that, almost a year after I finished being their teacher by job description, I still get to be a part of their lives.

Full of hope that she will not stop seeking wisdom until she finds where it begins.  That maybe her feet are already on a path, even if she cannot yet see it.

Please pray, ask, beg with me that she will keep knocking until the door is opened.

That she'll know the One who really is Wisdom.

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