After last night’s address by President Obama from the White House Oval Office, are you feeling reassured that all will be well in America and around the world vis-à-vis terrorism? Ummm. I think we’d better stay on our knees. On a different political front related to world affairs, the daughter of one of my friends just moved to Taiwan with her husband, so Alan and I watched a movie about the political developments in China during the twentieth century that’s left me thinking: What can you and I do to promote positive political change in our countries? The Soong Sisters is a 1997 biographical drama tracing the lives and influence of 3 Chinese sisters. Their parents were devout Christians, and their father, Charlie Soong, was a Chinese, American-trained Wesleyan Methodist minister who returned to China as a missionary in Shanghai. Rev. Soong was not only a warm and wonderful father, he later became a business man who made a fortune in printing and banking and supported Chinese reform. When his children grew up, he sent them back to America for Christian educations. Almost unbelievably, the three daughters married three of China’s most prominent men: The oldest daughter, Ai-ling, married the richest man and finance minister of China. The second, Ching-ling, married Sun Yat-sen, the Father of Modern China and first president of the Republic of China. The youngest daughter, Mei-ling, married Chiang Kai-shek, who became the leader of the Nationalist movement during World War 2 and eventually the president of the Republic of China in Taiwan. Although I was a history major, I did not remember the Soong family and was totally captivated by how God used one family to change the course of history in China, and frankly—around the world. (There were also 3 sons who were highly influential—one later became the finance minister and actually balanced China’s budget, negotiated with FDR and Stalin during the war, etc.—although the movie doesn’t follow the brothers.) The Soong Sisters film doesn’t tout Christianity as a cure-all for civilization’s woes, but the message was unmistakable: One Christian family, dedicated to the welfare of their country, had an inspiring, revolutionary impact. Although they opposed communism, they worked tirelessly to help China survive World War 2 and become the economic and political titan that it is today.As I was feeling dazzled but helpless by such an inspiring example, the words of D.L. Moody to Henry Varley (a British revivalist from the nineteenth century) came back to me (in part…I had to look them up again): “…those were the words sent to my soul, through you, from the Living God. As I crossed the wide Atlantic, the boards of the deck of the vessel were engraved with them, and when I reached Chicago, the very paving stones seemed marked with ‘Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him.’”
Are you ready? Who knows what God can do through you and me, if we’ll only live our lives fully consecrated to Him!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
(Pictures of the Soong family from Wikipedia)