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God's Calling

posted Apr 6, 2010, 12:59 PM by Elisa Lui   [ updated Apr 6, 2010, 9:07 PM ]

July 2008

On any given day, you could see this particular man quietly holding a neon-green sign near the Powell cable car station in San Francisco. The four words on the sign read “Jesus Christ loves you.” It was a very simple sign, but it never failed to bring a smile on my face. Underneath the sign stood a middle-aged man whose face never showed any hint of tiredness or boredom from the long hours of standing. When the crowds of tourists would thin out on rainy days, you could still find this man and his sign – both covered by a clear plastic bag – faithfully proclaiming God’s message for everyone.

As I walked pass the sign on my way home from work each day, I could not help but wonder about the story behind this man. What caused him to give up his job and devote his entire life to doing something that seemed so meaningless to most people in this world? Several months ago, I could not hold my curiosity any longer and finally asked.

“I don’t have a story. I just decided to do this one day,” said Jose with a smile. Expecting a fascinating tale, I felt a bit disappointed at Jose’s short reply. Yet, this straightforward answer was as powerful as the simple message on his sign. Jose did not tell me what he did before starting this ministry. He did not tell me when or how God called him. He did not tell me the struggles he had in fulfilling God’s call. For Jose, all of that was irrelevant because his sole purpose was to glorify God. The story was not about him; it was about Jesus. It was about how much Jesus longed for us to receive his love.

It was obvious that Jose tasted the sweetness of God’s love and he wanted nothing more than to share this love story with others. For Jose, it meant holding a sign in the improbable place of downtown San Francisco to remind people about Jesus’ love for them. For another fellow, Keith Wheeler, it meant carrying a twelve-foot wooden for 18,500 miles to communicate God’s love in over 180 countries. God calls different people to different purposes. Although the world might look at these callings as futile and unrewarding acts, it’s what God thinks that counts.

Since last summer, I have felt called to bring God’s love note to college students from mainland China who were studying abroad. I thought it was a ridiculous call at the time because I did not speak Mandarin. I bargained with God, “How can I communicate YOUR love to these students when I don’t even speak their language? You must have gotten the wrong girl! I speak Cantonese. Shouldn’t I continue to work with students from Hong Kong?” Yet, there was no mistake. He seemed to say, “Just keep your eyes on ME and let ME lead this dance. All you have to do is to follow.” That was what I did when I joined a group of other Christians to host a gospel camp for Chinese college students studying in Ukraine.

When I arrived at the camp in Odessa, Ukraine, God surprised me with seven Cantonese-speaking students. Most of the students spoke Mandarin; in fact, over the past six years, there were only a total of two students from the Canton province who attended the camp. I thought, “Great! I can at least share the gospel with seven people!” But God was very humorous. Six out of these seven students were already believers. Rather than bringing these students for me to share the Good News with them, God brought them as my interpreters so that we could co-work together in telling God’s love story to other students. At the end of the camp, eleven students accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and were baptized in the Black Sea. The eleven students included one of my interpreters, the only non-believing Cantonese speaker at the beginning of the camp. I would have never guessed how God would integrate me, a non-Mandarin speaking person, into HIS grand plan for these students.

God’s plan is always higher than ours. I cannot wait till the day when we all meet Jesus face to face and are able to look back and see how God orchestrated even the tiniest part of our lives into HIS redemptive plan. I am sure Jose and Keith will be astounded to learn how God uses their sign and wooden cross, respectively, to touch the lives of so many. As illogical as some of HIS callings might seem at first blush, HE asks us to trust him as he promises a beautiful dance.