Midnight Encounter

It was Tuesday night, so 2 nights ago and I went back home very late at just before midnight.

I bumped into the head deacon of my church. For a long time, we have been on friendly term. His son and I are similar people being both having born in Hong Kong yet grew up overseas for most of our lives. His son and I both love the church but can’t ignore the problems and coldness of the place. He left already to another church, and I might be following his footstep.

I used to get to see him every summer when he came back for holiday from UK. For a long time, our family seems to be good friends. When there was tough time at church, I would get invited, we would get invited for meals, or just have meals together. However, ever since he became head deacon, things just haven’t been the same. I can guess at why but not exactly.

Anyway, I bumped into him coming out from the mall and we talked. He asked me about my parents and I told them they are okay, my dad’s skin condition has improved but they both think of the church often.

To tell the truth, to most of the people I talk to about church, tears would swell up in their eyes. You could see something there. I have seen it in two brothers, a older sister who was a mentor.

In a sense, I think that we are all lost. We all have our own perspective of what’s going on, what’s really going on, we all lose something, we all are confused about what happened, we try to make sense of it, but yet each of us only have a few pieces of the overall puzzle. I think I would say I know the whole picture, but I probably don’t. It’s just that I have my unique experience that they didn’t have and thus I can see something they can’t.

I wanted to tell him that some of the decisions they made were wrong, cruel and they didn’t do it the right way, but I didn’t.

I asked him if there will be a pastor coming to our fellowship and he told me he is concerned about some bad theology problem in my fellowship. That is something I have been telling one deacon over one and a half year already. And he should know the problem in Bible study, I told him when he asked me many years ago, probably 4 years ago after Saturday service one time with another brother.

I told him my concerns, he asked if others voiced out, I told him that many of us in the fellowship know the problem already but there was nothing much we could do, the people doing the things don’t really listen to people, we need someone to intervene and help with the situation. He said they would be doing something about it.

At the end  I told him to “Add oil.” He said the same in reply. He told me I could go to his home sometime and have dinner. I told him I bought a bike and could cycle to his place. We talked a little bit bike and said goodbye.

There was probably much more I would tell him. The is a lot I want to tell him, but I find that, from the experience of my friends, they might not want to know so much. You really need to be a very strong, God loving Christian with wisdom and courage to take it in and be able to understand. A person would need some spiritual experience to understand and figure something to do about it.

Lesser Christians would get scare, try to ignore problems, downplay them, fail to see how the problem can only get bigger and sometimes fold and behave in unchristian manners. And churchgoers just wouldn’t care, try not to hear. He would just want to be comfortable, get things from the church, he would not choose to be in the fire.

I was told by a pastor friend who teaches in a seminary that there are very few people who would have the strong sense of righteousness and especially guts (courage) to confront the problem. Most would know, admit there is a problem, that something is wrong but won’t put themselves in the fire.

I am one of those rare guys who wants to confront the problem. I told most of my trusted friends already and they admit and know that there is wrong, there is problem but they would not confront. Because it would mean possible relationship fall off.

I found that a bit pathetic and selfish, because if you really love people, you would confront them with the problem. It’s getting out of hand because people did not confront when the fire was just a spark and when it was small. The longer you wait, the bigger the fire.


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