I have been reading Lu Xun’s article in recent months. Lu is a contemporary Chinese author in early 1900s, whose articles are dubbed as “spear and dagger”.
Engaging in literature while giving up medicine
In 1904, the 23-year old Lu was given the chance to study in Japan. Influenced by his father’s early death, Lu decided to attend medical school and hoped to save people’s lives by being a doctor.
However, one day after one of his biology classes, Lu was shown a scene in which a Japanese soldier was about to behead a Chinese warrior. Instead of showing any sympathy and sorrow, other Chinese people surrounded their compatriot with indifference and numbness.
At that moment, Lu realized that is never enough to cure just the human body. Physically, they were as strong and healthy as anyone could ask, but inwardly, their spirit has died and became calloused.
It was at that time that Lu decided to become a literary physician, who awakens human spirit through essays and literature.
The heart is deceitful above all things
I admired Lu’s courage and determination when I read his articles at high school. But now I esteem him more for his insights of the human heart, from which all sins flow. As he once has put: “I am always willing to think the worst of my fellow-countrymen.” I’m confident that he said so with both deep anger and love for his people and country. Sadly, I suppose that his judgement proves to be true nowadays.
Look around the world today, it’s probably not an overstatement that we are never afraid to speculate on the worst of the human heart.
In China, people are getting less and less concerned for others. From what we eat to how we interact with others, the whole society is caught into a credibility crisis in recent years. Babies’ milk powder could be toxic; food from restaurants could be cooked in gutter oil; people hesitate to give a hand to accident victim.
In America, gun violence is getting more and more severe. According to statistics shown in 2016, four million people were suffered from Gun-related crimes.
In Europe, terrorist attacks gradually have made people feel insecure. It seems that the world has become less stable than before. It’s not difficult to conclude that education and civilization have hardly changed people’s hearts. Without the fear of God and the love for others, it’s not surprising to see how wild and crazy human hearts could be.
No wonder God says: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah chapter 17, versus 9)
“A heart of flesh”
Even though Lu’s article were proved to be enlightening in some way, it made little difference since human’s sinful nature is still there. Just as a drowning man is not able to save himself, we sinners also need a redeemer to rescue us from the mire of sin.
If Lu knew God at his time, he would understand that only God, who searches human hearts and examine their minds, could save people from their evil nature. And the price that God paid is much more valuable and higher than anyone could offer--His one and only son!
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel chapter 36, versus 26). It is through Jesus that we were given the new heart. We will only be able to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God after receiving Christ.
There is no doubt that Jesus is the final solution to human’s wickedness. Once Jesus’ character is with us, it would be hard for people not to perform good deeds as He does.
Cheng Xingyi (known as Cindy) was born and brought up in central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cheng Xingyi's previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html