- Religion and Philosophy
Lu Xiaomin - China's Songbird
The power of song
As mentioned in a previous hub, on any given Sunday there are more worshipers gathered in China than exist in Europe. Their worship is marked by hearty singing. For the most part they sing without the aid of instruments, hymnals or powerpoint. Most of the songs will have been written by a young country girl born into a Muslim family in 1970.
As a child Lu Xiaomin, or Sister Ruth as she is sometimes called, had no exposure to the Christian faith. In fact the only book in her home was a Chinese dictionary which she devoured. She had to quit school in her middle years because of illness. Rather than go back, she wound up helping with the chores on her family's farm. One day while out in the field picking cotton with her aunt, the latter began to tell her of the Christian faith. It was not long before, at age nineteen, Xiaomin was active in one of the many house churches that were forming in China in the 80s.
As David Aikman reports it, "One evening, after attending one of the worship sessions, she returned to her family's simple home but couldn't fall asleep. 'A song came into my mind' she explained when I caught up with her in the autumn of 2000 in Guangzhou. Xiaomin was surprised at the ease with which the song had come into her mind. Neither she nor anyone in her family had ever studied music." (p.109) Later Aikman continues, "When I first met Xiaomin in 2000, she had about 732 songs in her collection. She gave me tapes of herself singing the last dozen or so. When I interviewed her again in Beijing in June of 2002, the number was up to 863 and still growing." (p.110)
Xiaomin's songs speak of an intensely personal relationship with the Almighty through faith in Jesus Christ. They have become a cohesive force among Chinese Christians the world over. Aikmen writes of hearing a congregation singing one of her most popular hymns titled Five o'clock in the morning in China, the time when many godly Chinese rise for prayer. It was a congregation in Fairfax, VA. (p.111)
One of Xiaomin's most touching songs
Lord, You are my most understanding friend,
Lord, You are my dearest companion.
You are always on my mind, every day,
I long to see Your face.
At every stage of my life,
During each little pause in my life,
Your hand is always holding me,
Keeping me by Your side,
Telling me the path which I should take,
That I might not slide towards death!
How long, how wide, how deep and high is Your love!
From the depths of my heart, I am in awe!
With You, I need nothing else!
My heart is joined to Yours!
I have vowed to follow You and never change my mind!
And so the kingdom advances
In our western data saturated culture we've come to believe that truth advances through persuasive argumentation and flawless logic. Or perhaps by the shear power of intimidation, be it that of government or labor unions or corporate giants. The kingdom of Christ rests on neither of these. While the Scriptures present a reasonable display of God's power and purposes, anyone with an ounce of cynicism will find something to object to. God intended it that way.
It's the ability of Jesus to transform lives in the face of the most intense opposition that makes the Christian faith unique. Indeed Lu Xiaomin and her brothers and sisters in China offer incontrovertible evidence that Jesus lives.