不久， 我失去老伴的悲傷和孤獨， 就被上帝同在的甜蜜所代替了；於是我更積極追求認識上帝。過了一段日子，伴著我多年的藥罐子不翼而飛，我變得容光煥發。我不茍言笑的個性也變得開朗喜樂，精神越來越好！我想，我是不是返老還童了？
後來，兒子的白血病第二次復發，醫生說，遇到這樣的病況，病人幾乎是九死一生；但我相信，人的生死是在上帝手中，不是在醫生的口中。於是我天天為兒子禱告。在禱告中，上帝把平安放在我心裡。我對兒子說：「兒子，別怕！ 我很肯定， 上帝一定醫治你！ 」尚不信主耶穌的兒子聽了，半信半疑。後來，在他的醫治過程中發生了許多奇蹟，他接受了一個正在試驗階段的手術（臍帶造血），收到前所未有的好效果。終於，他從死亡的懸崖邊返回！現在他的白血球已經恢復到正常人的數量，已回公司上班。而且他不僅信主受洗，全家大小也都歸於主基督耶穌的名下。我們這一家實在有福啊！
CROSSING THE CHASM DEEP AND WIDE
Comment from the editor:
When being asked about the image of a father, many Chinese will think of a man with a straight face and little words. A son must never question his decisions, and the whole family must follow his will. Too many fathers are like this! Yet one day, this stern father suddenly pleaded to his son for forgiveness. How unimaginable it is! What drove him to strike such an undignified pose before his son? What enabled him to cross the wide chasm between the father and son?
My relationship with my son was rocky for quite a long time. The chasm was far too wide, and I never thought I'd reach the other side. Confucian doctrines were once the guidelines of my life. The idea of authoritarian parenting was so deeply-rooted in me that I always put on a serious face with a superior look before my son. Even when he was a little boy, I rarely smiled to him. When he faced difficulties and sought help from me, I would always place the blame on him and said that those problems were all his faults. Because of this, he dared not even talk to me.
My discipline to my son was very brutal. When he was only three years old, I beat him with a thick bamboo ruler because he did not obey his mother. The ruler was broken after several strikes. Right after he graduated from Junior high school, he argued with his mother again. This time I whipped him with a bamboo stick. I did not stop until the stick was broken into pieces. Since then, whenever my son saw me, he would bow down his head with fear. Then he would either keep silence or found excuse to slip away, just like a mouse seeing a cat. Things did not improve even after he went to the university and got his master degree. Although he gained respect from other people, he still feared me.
My son went to U.S. and completed his Doctorial degree. He got married and settled down there. After his two adorable daughters were born, my wife and I went to visit him. This should have been a time of family reunion; pleasant and enjoyable. However, I ruined it all when I trying to hold the highest authority over the family as a father. The tension accumulated in the family. In my eyes, a son should always behave like a son. No matter how old he is, he must obey his father. After all, I am the one that is more experienced, isn't it?
One day, he argued with his mother again. I was outraged and confronted him with a knife from the kitchen. At that moment, I really wanted to kill him because he was so disobedient that he deserved to die. My three-year old grand-daughter was very scared. She held me by my leg, crying "Grandpa! Don't kill my dad!" Looking at her tearful face, my heart was softened. However, the tension between me and my son increased, and we became enemies.
The more I thought about it, the angrier I would become. For this son, my wife and I had endured a tearful face, my heart was softened. Both of us were accused to be the rightists in the anti-rightist movement in China. I could no longer teach in the university as a professor, and was sent to a glass factory as a worker. In the "Culture Revolution", my wife and son was also sent to the countryside. They were forced to do the dirtiest job in the village. In those days, it was so humiliated that my wife wanted to drown herself in the river. But when she thought of my son, she chose to live and endured all the insults. We took the hardest and dirtiest jobs, yet the income could hardly provide for the family. Wherever we went, people around despised us. In order to save for my son's education, I tightened my belt and often skipped meals. In this way, I could send more money and food stamps to my wife and son. We endured all these for him, and now he returned me with this angry look all day long. That was just too much! From then on, even small conflicts between us would trigger my thought of killing him.
In my wife's last moment before she passed away; she asked me to reconcile with my son. At her pleading, I gave a reluctant promise. But the chasm was far too wide that even if I was willing to reconcile, I could not. Then a young Christian couple took me to church. I found supports and comforts there. This eased my loneliness.
I was an atheist. Deeply rooted materialism had kept me from believing God. I held the opinion that God was just an idol made by human beings. It was plainly superstitious. To my surprise, my wife was baptized two months before she passed away. Several brothers came to my home to pray for her at her bed. She was very peaceful during her final minutes. My heart opened up to God because of this peace I saw. As a Christian, she knew she would go to heaven after leaving this world. What a blessing to be a Christian! As a result, I decided to go to church, trying to find a home for my lonely soul. It was not long before I was converted and baptized. Stubborn as I was, I sought the truth earnestly once getting started. I really wanted to know if Jesus was the one true, living God. I studied the Bible a lot and tried to absorb all the teachings from sermons and group discussion. Every morning at 5:00am, I started my day by reading Bible and praying. I have learned to praise God in all circumstances and often listened to gospel tapes. I also prayed for my health as I was very sick and weak at that time.
Before long, the sweetness of God's presence replaced my loneliness and the sorrow of losing my wife. So I sought God even more earnestly. After some time, I felt much better. The medicine bottles and pill boxes which had surrounded me for many years were no longer needed. I once was always frowning and straight, and now I could open my heart and be joyful all the time. I became so energetic that sometimes I felt young.
I also found my temper was getting better. The biggest progress was the turning of the stormy relationship with my son. After I was converted, I kept on reading Bible and praying. From time to time, God spoke to me through His word. One day, I came across this verse, "For if you forgive men when the sin against you, your heavenly father will forgive you." (Mathew 6:14). I told my group leader about all my struggles in forgiving my son. She taught me to pray for my son and wrote down the prayers for me. From then on, I prayed for my son every day, using those written prayers as a guide.
In a winter retreat, a pastor preached about the relationship between parents and children. He said that the brokenness in this relationship would not only have a life-long influence over the children themselves, but also would pass on to the future generations. That is the reason why so many Chinese were hurt and abused by those in authority. The victims of the abuse would have difficulties in building up good relationships, because they would tend to hurt others in the same way. The key of healing is to repent and forgive. I was shocked to learn this fact and became restless and anxious.
At that moment, God's light shined upon me. I was the one hurting my son by giving him so much pressure all these years. It would also hurt my granddaughters! I was the one who should plead for forgiveness, not my son. After the winter retreat, I was thinking all the words I could say to apologize. The most difficult part for me was to put my dignity aside and say sorry to my son. Then I pray desperately to God.
The next day, I went to see my son, and tried to apologize. When it was time for him to drive me home, I finally got the strength to say, "I have something to tell you." Determined, I poured my heart out to my son. I burst into tears when apologizing. In the end, both of us cried on each other's shoulders. My son cried, "Dad, you don't have to say it anymore! I know your heart already!" But I would not just stop there. I pleaded, "No! I would not stop until you said before God that you forgive me!" When he said he forgave me, I could feel the chasm between us suddenly disappeared at the moment. God healed us and took away all the bitterness accumulated in our hearts all these years.
In that spring festival, I prepared two red pockets for my granddaughters. My granddaughters took the red pockets from my hand and went away. My son stopped them and told them to kowtow to me. I shook my head and tried to stop them from doing so. But my son insisted, and they kowtowed three times to me. He himself also knelt down and kowtowed three times to me too. He spoke loudly, "Father, I have been very disobedient and have done a lot of wrong things to you in all these years. Could you forgive me?" I nodded with tears in my eyes. This was truly a heart-melting moment.
After that, my son's leukemia relapsed for the second time. The doctor said that nine out of ten such patients will die. But I believe that life is in the hands of God, and the judgement from the doctor was not a final one. So I prayed for my son every day. God put peace in my heart after I prayed. I told my son, "My son, don't be afraid! I am very sure that God will heal you!" At that time, my son was still an unbeliever. He did not fully believe Jesus yet. During the healing process, there were lots of miracles. He went through a pilot operation of cord blood
transplantation. The result was very good. Finally, he was recovered! His leukemia cells reached the same level as a healthy person. He then went back to his office to work again. Now he has been baptized and so did all of his family. As a family, we are truly blessed!
Without the reconciliation with my son, how could I pray for him constantly? Without the change of my life and the victorious experience of prayers, how could my son believe in the Lord Jesus who has died and resurrected for him? I know that God makes all things work for good to those who love Him. And I believe that He will make good out of all these things that have happened in my family. I will give all the thanks and praises to our God!