The revolution of the human heart brought on by Jesus

I just finished reading A Heart for Freedom, the story of Chai Ling, one of the student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising in Beijing. Her story is a gripping account of the heart’s longing for freedom, purpose, justice, and significance. It is also a picture of the fact that the only true revolution is the revolution of the human heart brought on by Jesus.

A quick summary of Chai Ling’s story:

Born under the shadow of the communist party, Chai Ling’s parents were both doctors and proud servants of the country. Growing up, Chai Ling was a bright and hard working student, and eventually earned her way into one of China’s top universities, Peking University. While at the university, her world was opened up to new loves, new views, new pain (forced abortions), and the injustice of the communist party with its crack down on students who were pushing for democracy. Through a series of seemingly random events, she found herself, in the spring of 1989 as the spokesperson for the Tiananmen Square uprising that eventually resulted in the massacre by government forces of over 3,000 students. Chai Ling fled, eventually making her way to the United States. She pursued further degrees at Princeton University and Harvard Business School and then settled into a job working in the business world. She married an American and now has three beautiful daughters. She has been and is a key figure and symbol of the fight for freedom and democracy in China.

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacres, Chai Ling still had not found peace with the horror of the massacre or the unfinished revolution. Internally, her heart wrestled with tough questions: Who am I now? Is living this American dream my true destiny? Why did all those students die yet I lived?  How can I help China find freedom? And then, in December of 2009, Chai Ling became a Christian. She realized that her life long journey to find freedom and to save China is impossible apart from Christ. Her new found relationship with Jesus has caused Chai Ling to realize that “the next revolution [in China] will not be fought in the streets; it will be won within each individual.”[1]

Our world has witnessed many revolutions over its history—some political, some ideological, and some religious. Some revolutions have brought on lasting change while others were short lived. Some revolutions have had only a local impact while others have been truly global. There is, however, a revolution afoot today that is both global in scope and has the power to change both individual lives as well as society. It is the revolution of the human heart brought on by faith in Jesus. The bent of the human heart is toward self and idolatry. And the only cure for this human condition is Christ. Our world is a world of violence, injustice, and strife. And the only hope for this world is a Savior who redeems and restores.

Interestingly, even some atheists recognize this. If you don’t know Jesus, consider turning your heart to the one who created you and lovingly pursues you.

Here is a video of Chai Ling as she shares about her journey and her work to bring true freedom to China:

[1] Chai Ling, A Heart for Freedom (Carol Steam, IL: Tyndale House, 2011), 291.

3 Responses to The revolution of the human heart brought on by Jesus

  1. Greg West says:

    Paul,

    Thanks for sharing this story! Just recently I bought your lead photo as a poster for my office, to remind me that sometimes all it takes is the courage of one to inspire others to take a stand for freedom. But Ironically, when it comes to ‘true’ freedom, it requires surrender to the one who can truely set us free.

    • paul.gould@facultycommons.org says:

      Your welcome Greg–I was really inspired by this story as well! Have a great day brother!

  2. Pingback: The Antidote to Shallow and Narrow Lives: or My Favorite Books of 2012 | Paul Gould

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