二○一八年七月二十一日／七月二十二日 Click here for English version
Voice in a Bustling Environment
Rev James Hon
All around us, there are many kinds of sounds, voices and noises. Some are often irritating, others are not. But if we pay attention to God, we will still be able to hear Him in the bustling surroundings.
All of King’s Road was shaken in the morning of July 1. The beating of drums in a marching procession blanketed our conversations at Fortress Tower podium. There had been marches and demonstrations before, but none could compare with this one. It looked like Hong Kong had entered a new era of marching culture. As soon as the second worship service had concluded, brothers and sisters of the third service squeezed into the worship hall to hide from the sound of drums and gongs. It was like escaping an air raid. The worship hall at Fortress Tower main church was their air-raid shelter and haven. Indeed, once inside the sanctuary, we had an extraordinary inner peace and calmness. God is our refuge. Our peace is one that stays whatever happens, peace that no one can take away.
A few years ago, I began to have ringing in my ears. The noise was loud and tormenting. I heard it in the streets. I heard it in broad daylight. One day while in the countryside, I asked my wife why the cicadas would sing in springtime. She replied that it was my ears that sang. So I visited an otolaryngologist. The doctor’s diagnosis was one of hearing impairment in my right ear. I took medicine for some time, but still the ringing would not go away, which made me very frustrated. Would it be like that the rest of my life? In the absence of better ideas, I tried to comfort myself: “Make this one your friend!” I thought to myself: the ringing doesn’t damage body functions. It doesn’t hamper my sleep. So it must be the mildest of chronic diseases. Why not accept it with a thankful heart? Gradually, the ringing became my good friend. It was there with me all the time, never leaving me alone. I am grateful to God.
Voice that leads into truth
One day while chatting with my wife, she said she wanted to give a sister a hymn book. A new convert, the sister was often moved by the lyrics of the hymns sung during worship services. My wife said the sister had quite a good grasp of the truths which she had never been taught before. She was also able to explain the truths when challenged. The sister once had a quarrel with one of her family members. She cried because she felt she had been wronged. But after prayer, she was comforted by God and was even able to apologize to her family. Both of us were surprised by her progress in her spiritual journey. There could only be one explanation for all of this: it must be the teaching of the Counselor - the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s teaching led her into truth. The Spirit’s is the most beautiful voice in the world, and a blessing most longed for. Oh, how I envy the simple in pursuit of God on whom He bestows this wonderful blessing!