My heart went out to them today, like never before. The Chinese people, that is. People whom I sit beside. People with whom I work. People who do the same things that I do. People who laugh and play and struggle just like anyone else. People who sing and dance and rejoice. People who eat and sleep and work. People who get along. People who survive. Meet, my wonderful, God-sent, blessed, great-to-be-with, friends, the Chinese people.
As we were sitting there, at that lunch table, I asked one of them, “Can you please teach me some street language.” “Yes, of course!” he said to me. I thought hard about what expression I wanted to learn, just waiting to see if there was something in particular that I could learn that would be a blessing to others. “Teach me, ‘It’s a nice day, isn’t it?'” I said to him. He said, “Chen-chi chung-ho, shu-ma?” Then, he dissected it for me.
“Chen-chi” … that’s “weather”.
“Chung-ho” … that’s “nice”.
“Shu-ma” … that’s “isn’t it?”
And then we practiced it a few times. The real test came when they said, “Say it to those guys over there!” “Over there” meant at the next lunch table over, where sat about 6 or 7 other Chinese co-workers. So, I gave it a shot. Several of them managed to “get it”, but one of them didn’t. I had caught him off guard, speaking Chinese when he had expected me to be speaking English. Everyone laughed. A new fellow then came along, and I practiced the same line on him. He didn’t understand either, at first. Then, of course, there was more laughter.
Upon leaving, the co-worker that had taught me, “Nice weather, isn’t it?” wanted to teach me one more sentence before I left. I initially said, “We’ll work on that tomorrow, one sentence is enough for a day!” But the Lord seemed to be saying to me, “No, this one is a good idea.” So I said to him, “Let’s go for it!” He said to me, “Sundi-boyu!” and then gave me the English translation, “God bless you!” Then, as though being directed by God himself, he said to me, “Now go tell those other people, also!”
So I did. I went over and gave them the whole spiel: “Chen-chi chung-ho, shu-ma? Sundi-boyu!” Everyone laughed. And everyone got the message. They knew I was a Christian. They knew that God was important to me. God was indeed blessed that day. I’ll make it a point of sitting next to my blessed Chinese friends in future. People to love. People to care for. People just like you and me!
“I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22)
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)