My father is a writer. He wrote a book for me. My father’s life has been very colorful. He aspired to be a writer and by the age of 17 became a newspaper editor in his homeland, China. The communists blacklisted him as an “intellectual,” which in effect placed him on a “hit list.” Upon learning this information, his family slipped a few dollars into his pocket, put him on a train that same evening, and he disappeared into the night just ahead of his persecutors.
He found his way to Hong Kong, eventually marrying a church girlfriend. He then emigrated to North America, became a Salvation Army officer and retired after 35 years of faithful ministry. Through it all, he wrote. He wrote letters, newsletters, devotional columns, hundreds of articles for Chinese newspapers, several books and sermons with fresh insights from God every week of his 35-year ministry.
Through the years his readers would comment to me, “Oh, I love your father’s writing.” “Your father’s book touched my heart.” “Your dad wrote about you this week in his newspaper column.” I would smile and nod.
I never read my dad’s writing. Everything he wrote was in Chinese, his native language. English is my native language. So I asked my dad to write a book for me. “Dad, tell me your story, so I won’t forget.” As a result, he wrote the book For My Kinsmen’s Sake. It is the account of my family’s heritage. Now I have one book my father has written in English that I can read, understand, cherish and know his mind.
It is one of my most precious possessions. There is only one other book that is more precious to me than the book my dad wrote.
I discovered it in my young adulthood when I reached an exceptionally painful time in my life. It was then I discovered that this book I had never before appreciated was the greatest love letter of all time. My incredible discovery was that it was written to me. I couldn’t read enough about the fact that God loves me immeasurably, and has plans for my future.
It was as if I gained new vision, the true lens through which life could be accurately viewed and interpreted. Despair lost its hold on me as I became aware of God’s love and plans for me.
God’s Word is my love letter, my mirror, my map, my lamp, my instruction manual. It is nourishment for my soul. It is my window into God’s heart. It is the story of my spiritual heritage.
My heavenly Father is a writer. He wrote a Book for me, and for you.
Keilah Toy, The War Cry