What a Beautiful Sight!
The Beauty of the Unknown Footprints – A Tribute to the Past Missionaries in Taiwan
Since 1860's, missionaries from England, Canada and later America had worked with their hearts and ultimately their lives to provide broad services throughout Taiwan. Started from building schools, churches, clinics and hospitals, a modern civilized Taiwan had merged.
And then, about a week before the Christmas of 1961…
As a class at Tainan Theological College/Seminary (台南神學院*), we paid a visit to a Leprosy Clinic (痲瘋診所) somewhere in Tainan County. Our purpose was to sing Christmas carols to the patients and workers there, while distributing Christmas gifts. We met a leper who lost his nose, both hands and feet and ears and still greeted us with smiles and was so happy to see us that he asked us to join him singing two of his favorite hymns, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “For God So Loved the World – even me” (“Thi-Pe Thia Lan Se-kan cheng-lang” – a popular hymn in both Japan and Taiwan.) He sang with us smiling, rocking his shrinking body and waving his shorten arms while we tried so hard to hold back our tears. We also saw a picture of a missionary nurse who died from a direct contact to another leper there.
One of the doctors told us while we were leaving, “That nurse looked great there [in the picture] but,” he lowered his head and voice, “she did not look much better than our singing friend before she passed away…”
Nobody expected that place to be a beautiful sight. But the real beauty of life and love was so profound that it brought about one's graceful tears and deeply changed one's visions. And the words from Isaiah 52 came to me then and come to me now, “What a beautiful sight! On the mountains a messenger announces to Jerusalem, ‘Good news! You're saved. There will be peace. Your God is now King.’"
* 台南神學院 http://www.ttcs.org.tw/