A Salvo En Casa, Capítulo treinta y siete (Excerpt from Safely Home)

Ben estaba de pie en el aire frío de invierno. Como siempre, esperaba nervioso, tratando de mantenerse caliente y deseando que Li Quan saliera del hoyo negro. Estaban sacando a alguien del edificio, un hombre más viejo, débil, con una cojera pronunciada y piel amarilla.

Ben sintió su corazón congelarse.

—¿Quan? —trató de disimular su horror. Se tocaron los dedos índices derechos a través de la cerca—. Tú hueles a… jabón.

—Sí —Quan sonreía ampliamente, su rostro y su voz animados—. Es mejor que como yo olía la vez anterior, ¿sí? ¡Tengo maravillosas noticias! Debes decirles a mi familia y a la iglesia casera. Dios ha contestado oración. ¡Él me ha dado un ministerio!

—¿Qué?

—Voy de celda en celda, llevando el mensaje de Yesu a los otros hombres. La mayoría nunca ha recibido a nadie más en su celda excepto para pegarles. Yo los ayudo y les sirvo mientras limpio sus celdas. Les llevo el amor de Yesu. He visitado doce hombres. Cuando dejé sus celdas, seis no se quedaron solos. Yesu estaba con ellos. Tres ya eran creyentes, uno de ellos un pastor. ¡Él conoció a mi padre, Li Tong! Tres más doblaron sus rodillas a Yesu, que promete nunca dejarlos ni abandonarlos. Cuando paso por sus celdas en camino a limpiar otras, les canto “El cielo es mi patria”. Cuando termino de limpiar todas las celdas comienzo de nuevo.

—¿Los guardias te permiten hacer esto?

—El olor que antes se pegaba a los guardias casi ha desapare- cido. Sus zapatos no se echan a perder. Los prisioneros están emocionados porque ya no están solos. Emocionados al darse cuenta de que aun si mueren aquí, tendrán vida eterna. Aquellos en prisión no están tan distraídos como los que están afuera. Ellos piensan más acerca de la muerte. Preguntan: “¿Es este el día?” Yo les digo acerca de Yesu y su cielo, y escuchan ansiosamente, con mucha más intensidad que la mayoría de los hombres libres con los que hablo en la cerrajería. Por favor, dile a Ming y Shen y Zhou Jin acerca del ministerio de Li Quan.

—Les diré con una condición. Hay una pregunta que tienes que contestar primero. Tienes que decirme acerca de la silla de caoba, la silla vacía, con el respaldo alto. Ming y Shen dicen que tú tienes que decirme. No puedo sacar una palabra de ellos.

—Li Wen construyó la silla. Él era un maestro artesano. Le tomó más de un año. La construyó primero en honor a su padre Li Manchu. Pero entonces se volvió para él la silla de Yesu. Cuando otros afirmaban regir el mundo, le recordaba a él quién era el verdadero Rey.

—¿Es por eso que es casi como un trono?

—Un trono muy modesto. Pero sí. Hay solo uno que es digno de sentarse en él. Ese mismo está siempre presente en la casa de Li. La silla es un recordatorio del linaje de creyentes de la familia Li, desde Li Manchu. Pero más importante, la silla es un recordatorio de la promesa de Yesu de siempre estar con sus hijos. En cada comida, recordamos que él está con nosotros. Cuando nos sentamos en la noche, cuando nos acostamos a dormir, recordamos que él está ahí, cuidándonos.

—¿Nunca se ha sentado nadie en la silla?

—Mi padre decía que su padre, Li Wen, le enseñó que Yesu estaba en la silla, que aunque él estaba en todas partes y la silla no era más que un símbolo, era un símbolo muy importante. Como Li Wen nunca permitió que nadie se sentara en ella, tam- poco lo permitió Li Tong. Él decía que si nos sentábamos en la silla olvidaríamos su significado. Cuando teníamos muchos invitados, la silla se mantenía vacía mientras que mi padre o yo nos sentábamos en el suelo. Yo lo resentía por esperar que yo me sentara en el suelo en lugar de en una buena silla. Yo era un joven tonto.

—Mejor un joven tonto que un viejo tonto—dijo Ben.

—Sí —Quan sonrió—. Esto haría un buen proverbio chino. Hay esperanza para Ben Fielding. Dime, viejo amigo, ¿cómo estuvo Navidad?

—Conseguí naranjas para Ming y Shen. Y plátanos y uvas.

—Ben Fielding es un hacedor de milagros —dijo Quan. Sus ojos se llenaron de lágrimas y corrieron por sus mejillas—. Ellos deben haber estado muy contentos —miró hacia el cielo—Gra- cias por esta bondad, Yesu.

Ben empujó su mano con más fuerza en la cerca de alambre y apretó los dedos de Quan con los suyos. En ese momento llegó el guardia y empujó a Quan hacia el hoyo negro. Li Quan caminó de regreso a su celda desolada, cantando. Ben Fielding, se dio cuenta que él nunca había dado gracias a Dios por un pedazo de fruta, regresó a su bello auto, desesperado.


Extracto de A Salvo En Casa (fuera de la impression) por Randy Alcorn, capítulo treinta y siete.



Safely Home, Chapter 38

Ben stood in the chilly winter air. As usual, he waited nervously, trying to keep warm and to will Li Quan out of the black hole. Someone was being led out of the building now, a frail, older man with a pronounced limp and yellow skin, as if he had jaundice or hepatitis.

Ben watched the man, who for some reason was walking toward him. He felt his heart freeze. “Quan?” He tried to disguise his horror. They touched right index fingers through the fence. “You smell like . . . soap.”

“Yes.” Quan beamed, his face and voice surprisingly animated. “This is better than I smelled last time, yes? I have wonderful news! You must tell my family and house church. God has answered prayer. He has given me a ministry!”

“What?”

“I go from cell to cell, bringing Yesu’s message.”

“But I thought you were in an isolated cell.”

“God opened the door. I go to the other men. Most have never had anyone else come into their cell except to beat them. I help and serve them as I clean their cells. I bring them the love of Yesu. Twelve men I have visited. When I left their cells, six I did not leave alone.”

“What do you mean?”

“When I left, Yesu was with them. Three were already believers, one of them a pastor. He had known my father, Li Tong! Three more bowed their knees to Yesu, who promises never to leave or forsake them. When I walk by their cells on the way to clean others, I sing to them, ‘Heaven is my fatherland.’ When I finish cleaning all the cells I will start over. Then I can teach Shengjing to each of them. I will teach as I wash.”

“The guards let you do this?”

“The smell that used to cling to the guards is now almost gone. Their shoes are not ruined. The prisoners are excited to no longer be alone. Excited to realize that even if they die here, they will have eternal life. Excited that God has not forgotten them, that this world is not their home, that they will find release.”

“Sounds more like a revival meeting than a prison.”

“Those in prison are not so distracted as those outside. They think about death more. They ask, ‘Is this the day?’ They do not put so much hope in their plans and successes in this world. I tell them about Yesu and his heaven, and they listen eagerly, much more intently than most free men I speak to in the locksmith’s shop. Please, tell Ming and Shen and Zhou Jin about Li Quan’s ministry.”

“I’ll tell them on one condition—there’s a question you have to answer first.”

 

“They called me a master carpenter,” Li Wen said. “Compared to you I am but a novice.”

They worked together, master and apprentice, building and fashioning, using a simple wood chisel and a plane, doing with their hands what no machinery could.

“Your hands are so skilled and powerful,” Li Wen said. “Yet so delicate.”

“I have much experience building. And these hands are familiar with wood.”

“Anything I ever built in the Shadowlands was nothing compared to this.”

“What you built had value, for you built it for me, and with me. But what Li Wen will build in the future shall be greater still. I am the source of your gifts and skills. It was I who built your heart and trained your hands in the dark world.”

“You are the master builder.”

“I am the builder of simple furniture and wooden plows. I am the builder of men and worlds. And I am the builder of the place made for you.” His eyes looked over the horizon, to a part of this vast country Li Wen had not yet seen.

“Thank you for asking me to build this with you, for helping me learn by watching the skill of your hands.”

The Carpenter put his hand on the head of his apprentice. “To build something with you, Li Wen, is for me a great pleasure.”

 

“What is your important question, Ben?”

“You have to tell me about that chair!”

“What chair?” Li Quan asked, unable to keep the corners of his mouth from twitching.

“You know what chair. The mahogany chair, the empty one, with the high back. Ming and Shen say you have to tell me. I can’t get a word out of them.”

“Li Wen built the chair. He was a master craftsman, known throughout the province. It took him more than a year. He built it first in honor of his father, Li Manchu. But then it became for him the chair of Yesu. When others claimed to rule the world, it reminded him who was the true King.”

“That’s why it’s almost like a throne?”

“A very modest throne. But yes. There is only one who is worthy to sit in it. That same one is always present in the house of Li. My father learned that as a child. I should have, too, but I was very slow to learn. Shen understands already.”

“He’s had a good teacher.”

“Not good enough, I fear, though Ming has made up for my shortcomings. The chair is a remembrance of the Li family line of believers, going back to Li Manchu. But most important, this chair is a remembrance of Yesu’s promise to always be with his children. At every meal we have, we remember he is with us. When we sit in the evening, when we go to sleep at night, we remember he is there, watching over us. No matter what.”

“Has no one ever sat in the chair?”

“My father said his father, Li Wen, taught that Yesu was truly in the chair, that though he was every where and the chair was but a symbol, it was a very important symbol. As Li Wen did not let anyone sit in it, neither would Li Tong. He said if we sat in the chair we would forget its meaning. Whenever we had too many guests, the chair sat vacant while my father or I sat on the floor. I resented him for expecting me to sit on the ground rather than on a good chair. I was a young fool.”

“Better a young fool than an old fool,” Ben said.

“Yes.” Quan smiled. “This would make a good Chinese proverb. There is hope for Ben Fielding. Tell me, old friend—how was Christmas?”

“I got oranges for Ming and Shen. And bananas and grapes.”

“Ben Fielding is a worker of miracles,” Quan said. Tears formed quickly and dripped freely down his cheeks. “They must have been very happy.” He looked skyward. “Thank you for this kindness, Yesu.”

Ben pushed his hand harder into the wire fence and wrapped his fingers around Quan’s. Just then the guard came and herded him away to the black hole. Li Quan walked back to his desolate cell, singing. Ben Fielding, realizing he had never thanked God for a piece of fruit, walked back to his beautiful vehicle, despairing.


Excerpt from Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn, Chapter 38.

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries

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