I talked to Grandma J today after our worship service. She said she was able to enjoy the singing time but she didn’t understand the message because she didn’t understand English. So I offered to summarize the message for her in Mandarin. After I read the passages on the bulletin and summarized for her Ulia’s message, she responded by asking, “How can one be called a sinner if one hasn’t committed any crime?” (The word for “crime” in Chinese is the same word for “sin”.) At that moment, I was really surprised by the fact that I had her attention long enough that she was thinking along with me.
To appreciate this, you would have to understand that she is very easily distracted. Even as she is talking to you, she would be constantly looking around for random distractions. In several occasions, she started offering us water or juice to drink just because she saw one of the caretakers brought in cups for the residents, and then she kept insisting that we get something to drink. Another time, as I was pushing her around the building, I saw a phone on the wall and I told her that I recognized the model of the phone. We kept going but she thought that I was looking for a phone to make a phone call. And so as we passed by room after room, she kept asking people whether there were any phones in the rooms, even as I had explained to her that I didn’t need to make a phone call. Once she was fixated on something, it became very hard to draw her attention away from it.
Going back to that moment, I was really excited to explain to her that what we meant by sin was not the same as doing bad things, but calling our own shots, resulting in separation from God. That got her thinking and she seemed to have more questions. She saw that I was kneeling on the floor and wanted me to sit on a chair so we went to the lobby. Unfortunately, as soon as we got to the lobby, she was distracted by other things again. Nevertheless, I was still thankful that God has given this opportunity for her to think about spiritual questions, and I pray that there will be more opportunities for her to hear and understand the gospel and make her decision to accept Christ.