A Pattern of Divine and Human Incorporation
Eldest Daughter-in-law, Sister Xiujun Liu Liu
The first time when I saw Brother Runhuan Liu was in his home. My husband brought me to meet his family, and I simply knew that Brother Liu was a very gentle and meek elderly person. I could remember that on the first day when I married my husband, my father-in-law just told me: “I regard you as my daughter, not as my daughter-in-law.” This brief conversation expressed his fine humanity, which made me, a newly saved one, feel very warm and safe! It was only when we lived togther with my parents-in-law after marriage that I could testify concerning my father-in-law’s godly and simple living. In my father-in-law the world could not touch nor capture him. Everything was good, he was also on good terms with others. I always heard him humming hymns on a daily basis. When he and his family gathered together, the favorite hymn he liked to sing was: “Oh what joy, children of our God, / In His house, rejoice before His face, / Recounting wondrous stories of His grace, / Spirits lifted, singing ever endless praise.” My father-in-law often led his family members, old and young, to the Lord to enjoy the grace of life together. He especially loved the children, not merely just the several grandchildren in the family. Every time he came to the meeting hall, as long as there were children appearing, his face would be full of smile. In additon, he began to translate the shorthand notes of the messages released by Witness Lee in the early days. These were the thickly dotted, indecipherable notes yet full of key points completely filling a great many thick and yellowed papers. My father-in-law asked me to help him to buy more notebooks. Although he knew that his sight and physical body were limited, he still cooperated with the energizing and operating God to redeem the time. Every time I saw him striving to write at his small desk, I felt moved without reason. This caused me to deeply understand how God was manifested within man.
My father-in-law took all-inclusive tender care of every aspect concerning serving people. I remembered that one time before sleep, I invited my father-in-law to pray together after readying his comforter. Though he could not remember who I was, he was very willing to pray with me. He prayed: “Thank the Lord for sending this sister to serve me. May the Lord bless her…” Before he finished his prayer, I had been moved deeply… I got encouraged and strengthened by the service of his intercessory prayer! What kind of a brother was he? If he was not the divine and human incorporation to be one with God, who could still enjoy God’s presence to rejoice, rest, praise, and pray in suffering? As my father-in-law’s memory declined, I would ask him: “Who am I? What’s the time now? What day is today? Is it in the daytime or in the evening now?” What I asked him was in an attempt to recall something in my father-in-law’s memory, but he shook his head piling smile on his face after seriously thinking about my questions. Sometimes in the evening when there were no meetings, he still constantly dressed neatly, carried his familiar Bible bag, and difficultly walked with a walking aid to appear before my home by surprise, waiting for my husband to take him to attend the meeting. He was truly a faithful servant of God! In his memory, the old creation had have no place. What our brother remained and expected was to gain the Lord more and more! “Heaven and earth may fade and flee, / Firstborn light in gloom decline; / But, while God and I shall be, / I am His, and He is mine.” In the place of what God takes, He does give Himself to us.
When my father-in-law was in his last days, the people and the environment around him had faded due to the decaying of his memory and the limitation of his body. However, not only did he have no manifestation of the slightest sorrow, but he constantly fellowshipped with the Lord and prayed in the spirit as usual, full of “a consciousness of God.” Though his outer man was decaying, yet his inner man was being renewed day by day. Our brother closely followed the pattern of Jesus from the manger to the cross. His holy and excellent manner of life had not only made his living become the duplication of Christ’s living, but also testified of the preciousness, glory, and nobleness manifested by his faith, which had passed through trials. The pattern that my father-in-law had left has become an encouragement to my whole life.