Posted by Craig Borlase on 10 June 2014

 

It’s communist China in the 1950s, and practicing Christianity is a crime. Because of this Rev. Fang-Cheng is in jail. He has been tortured, all the time the communists trying to get from him the names of his fellow Christians. But Cheng refuses to tell them what they want to know. 

One day he is taken to answer yet more questions. In the corner of the room he sees a pile of rags and hears the rattling of chains. Slowly he realises there is a person there, and that person is his mother. But her hair was never that white and her face never so pale. He knows that, like him, she has been tortured. 

"I have heard,” says the Officer, “that you Christians have Ten Commandments, given by God, which you try to fulfil. I would be interested to know what your God demands of his followers. Would you be so kind as to recite them?" 

Gripped by fear, Cheng wonders what the game is, yet he jumps at the chance to educate the man about God. He recites the Commandments, but the officer stops him when he gets to "Honour your father and mother." 

“You see, Cheng,” interrupts the Officer, “I want to give you the chance to honour your mother right now. Tell me who your fellow Christians are and I promise you that tonight you and your mother will be free. You will be able to give her care and honour. Show me how much you really believe in God and want to follow his commandments."

This is not an easy decision to make.  Cheng turns to his mother: "What shall I do?"

Her answer is simple: "I have taught you from childhood to love Christ and his holy Church. Don't mind my suffering. Stay faithful to the Saviour and his followers. If you betray, you are no more my son."

This was the last time that Fang-Cheng saw his mother. The chances are that she died under torture. We might never have to walk quite the same way as Rev Fang-Cheng, but are we ready to put God first in other areas of our lives?

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