Comfort and Courage
by Kevin Chiu, Chief Executive Officer of World Vision Hong Kong

The past six months in our beloved city have been like a nightmare that refuses to wake up! We have not seen anything like this in our lifetime - suddenly, we all become alive politically, we try to figure out what is going on, we try to decide what is true and what is fake, and we try to do what is right in our eyes,... We are hurting, quietly, deeply. Inside, many are angry and desperate. We find it hard to comfort and settle our souls.

As a man of books, I search through my bookshelf for comfort and courage. They don’t solve problems but do give light and perspective. Let me share a few:

(1) The book of James in the New Testament Bible has this encouragement: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:3-5)

(2) More than 130 years ago, Leo Tolstoy, in the opening paragraph of his last great novel “Resurrection”, penned: “Though hundreds of thousands had done their very best to disfigure the small piece of land on which they were crowded together: paving the grounds with stones, scraping away every vestige of vegetation, cutting down the trees, turning away birds and beasts, filling the air with the smoke of naphtha and coal - still spring was spring, even in the town. The sun shone warm, the air was balmy, the grass, where it did not get scraped away, revived and sprang up everywhere ... The birches, the poplars, and the wild cherry trees were unfolding their gummy and fragrant leaves, the bursting buds were swelling on the lime trees; crows, sparrows, and pigeons, filled with the joy of spring, were getting their nests ready ... All were glad: the plants, the birds, the insects, and the children...”

(3) Fanny Crosby, a blind who wrote more than 8,000 songs including the most beloved “To God be the Glory” and “Blessed Assurance”, concluded that her blindness was God’s gift to her: “I could not have written thousands of hymns if I had been hindered by the distractions of seeing all the interesting and beautiful objects that would have been presented to my notice.” Her handicap became her advantage, not her disadvantage. Every cloud has its sliver lining!

(4) The Preacher in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament Bible proclaims: “There is nothing new under the sun ... There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,... God has made everything beautiful in its time ... Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

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